Party in Amsterdam!
KROOKS celebrates its first fifteen releases with this free compilation. A great way of getting to know the records label that started out earlier this decennium as a bold adventure by three friends to integrate electronic music culture with new ways of telling stories.
Although KROOKS magazine – with short, inspiring stories about contemporary issues with a call to action in the last sentence – and the KROOKS events – always a cool program on a special location – became popular in the city, both ended after a year of hard work and not earning enough to sustain high quality. In my opinion, KROOKS peaked too soon. The concept would flourish in the new culture of the 2020s.
The output of the record label has been stable since the early days (2015, right?), giving a voice to the emerging new kind of downtempo and lounge-like initiatives in the city.
This compilation is a good overview of the recent developments in the scene. The diversity is great, but all tracks included have that KROOKS-feel to it. It’s hard to describe what that is.
Let’s give a try: a slightly positive attitude with dark edges and a spiritual feel laced with downtempo beats and lush basses.
Something like that.
Best examples on this compilation? The moody and slow ‘Coyote de Arena’ by Absentune, the faster and playfully exciting ‘Supernova’ by SpaceAgePoetry (the beautiful spoken word in Dutch) and Dialogue (the production), the dreamy ambient pop of Arjuna Schiks’ ‘Mahesvari’, and the jazzy house of ‘Pink & Orange Sky’ by label co-founder Satori.
Leaves eleven more fine examples of the contemporary downtempo sound of Amsterdam. Although, there are also contributions from Nijmegen, Manchester, Buenos Aires and Mexico City on here.
Maybe it’s time to extend the solid musical basis of KROOKS to an event or even a publication to propagate the open and progressive nature.
Fifteen is released by KROOKS Records.