Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand

They couldn’t save Diva Fever, but they’re doing alright for themselves…


Renato Pagnani: I liked last year’s “aNYway” and I like this even more. Restraint is a well-fitting look for these guys; they understand that good house is all about a consistent throb, the kind of clockwork groove that can last five or six minute without losing steam. This is crossover house done very, very well.

Kat Stevens: So much better than their dreadful last single! I wonder if Armand van Helden had been listening to old Bamboo’s “Bamboogie” and thought to himself “oooo let’s do that but with BONEY M instead”, then slapped the mecha-Streisand chant on top for extra camp points. If only he’d kept in the steel drums!

Edward Okulicz: A “James Brown Is Dead” for the ’10s. Until you hear it you won’t realise you’ve been waiting 20 years for it. Also, it is a fact that Boney M were amazing.

Asher Steinberg: Even though so little has been added to/subtracted from the original, it’s striking how much those little changes take something that was unabashedly corny and make it detached and arch — but thankfully, not in a looking-down-our-noses at the original arch kind of way. Notably, one of the two members of Duck Sauce was once looked upon in rap circles as an up-and-coming poor man’s DJ Premier, and on this record you can see why.

Jer Fairall: I don’t get it.

Michaelangelo Matos: Armand Van Helden’s loops used to have such give and elasticity. They’ve been more inert since then, and while this isn’t horrible, it’s nothing in comparison to the stuff he was cranking out over a decade ago. It’s like lousy cocaine as opposed to good E.

Anthony Easton: Gorgeous, late summer jam, all about the joy of a dog day party, fucking love the sample, love the loop even more, kanye looking all serious at 2:16, unable to name Babs turned a tight grin into an all out guffaw — dancing and fucking music.

Alfred Soto: Serviceable and swirly, if not as daft as a Barbs tracked remixed by van Helden could be. He’s got plenty to be guilty of.

David Katz: I could see this song working really well as a novelty football chant. Sub the bizarre shout of ‘Barbra Streisand’ for, like, ‘Gianfranco Zola!’ or ‘David Ngog!’ and it’ll soundtrack the pre-game PA for years to come.


Alex Macpherson: When people praise “mindless” dance music, they don’t actually mean music that’s as empty of thoughts and ideas as this inane, zombified husk of a track. There isn’t a single thing here that hasn’t been done before or better, often by Armand van Helden himself.

Martin Skidmore: I think it’s the bassline that is lacking compared to “aNYway” – it was monstrous on that, but here it’s kind of basic. I like it well enough, but not among either party’s greatest moments.

Jonathan Bogart: A steroided-out second-hand memory of 70s roller-disco bliss, with a non sequitur vocal interjection that would kill the momentum if any had been worked up to. Babs is overdue for her hipster reappreciation, but this is no way to start.

Katherine St Asaph: YouTube Poop, minus memes, plus big doofy disco beats.

John Seroff: Okay so the video mix (if not the video) is a good time, even if it is exactly half (.5) as clever as it thinks it is. The vinyl audio is a lot less engaging as a sit-down listen but it’s clearly meant more as an easel for DJs to play on than as a stand-alone, finished project. I need to be drunker to really get into “Barbra Streisand” and it’s somewhat to its credit that I kinda wanna meet it halfway.

Mallory O’Donnell: Pointless like Sleigh Bells, but with pleasure instead of hip aural masochism in mind, so it’s a whole different matter. So stoopid and buoyant I could see an 18-year old me drinking Popov and OJ to it, so solidly banal no one could possibly extemporize a 600 word blurb about it.

17 Responses to “Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand”

  1. I ran into some trouble trying to find the words to express my hatred for my song. My original blurb was something like, “So this is what it sounds like when the hipsters watch too much Family Guy.”

  2. kind of entirely agree with matos here but I’m easier to please

  3. Hmm, is pleasure ever pointless? (I’m Asher, by the way.)

  4. Yer actual DJ Premier is in the video – don’t know whether it’s him on the track.

  5. No, but Sleigh Bells are. (You might wanna try reading that one again.)

  6. I did and isn’t pointless modifying an implicit ‘Duck Sauce’? As in, ‘Duck Sauce’ is pointless like Sleigh Bells, but with pleasure instead of xyz in mind, so it’s different? I mean I guess you’re saying different tiers of pointlessness (this being a lesser/better tier).

  7. Sure, something like that. Or maybe I mean ‘pointless’ to be more descriptive than judgmental. Either way, you should probably calm down.

  8. I don’t see Tray as being riled up?

  9. Not anymore than usual, of course.

  10. Eh, it’s the usualness of it that gives rise to concern. I’d prefer that our writers, new and old, concentrate on cooking up fine blurbs rather than engaging in silly (even pointless!) semantical disputes.

  11. Surely they’re not mutually exclusive, though? Not to take sides on the pointlessness or pointiness of Sleigh Bells or semantics or hell, for that matter, Duck Sauce, but there’s plenty of hours in the day, and I didn’t see the question as all that combative.

  12. Yeah, I don’t feel riled up – I was just, you know, curious as to what you meant by saying the song was pointless and yet fun at the same time, as the fun would seem to be the point. I suppose I suspect you mean that it has no point other than just being fun, but that wasn’t manifest. Being a lawyer I tend to have an inordinate interest in exactly what written remarks mean, and relatively little interest in whether they’re correct or not. If you want to define pointless to include things that have no point other than to be fun, that’s quite alright with me, I just think it’s an interesting definition that suggests some kind of ideology of pointedness. And that pointless is an interesting and kind of problematic qualifier, because if you think about it, Sleigh Bells’s music bristles with points – they’re just points that you and I don’t think are worth making, so isn’t pointless a quite ambiguous term inasmuch as it can denote something very pointed but frivolously so, and something relatively unpointed like this song? Now of course that’s as semantic as semantic gets, but I think it’s well worth establishing what we mean when we say something is pointless.

  13. Tray, you’re doing fine. Think the people who tell you to calm down need to calm down.

  14. (But I like Mallory’s blurb, by the way. Wish I liked the song, but I’m at 4 with it. Too cluttered. Would rather go home with Boney M.)

  15. To whomever it might concern, the link to From A Table Away on the sidebar is incorrect.

  16. It makes more sense when remixed, the original version is a bit stale.

  17. I’m fine with having a conversation about semantics, this just seems an exceedingly arbitrary one to have. I think it’s pretty clear what I meant in my blurb, and I think it’s equally clear that I could have chosen a better word to express that idea. Actually, I think having “points” or being “pointless” is actually a pretty horrible descriptive term for music of any kind, and I’m quite regretting my hasty word choice! That being said, I’m fairly sure there’s something else going on here beyond crappy word choices and their need to be clarified…