Four and a half years since their first track, "aNYway," hit the internet, Duck Sauce have finally let loose their debut album, which is fittingly titled Quack. Comprised of all-star DJs A-Trak and Armand Van Helden, Duck Sauce have a retro dance sound influenced by disco and the earliest rap music. Stream Quack in its entirety above.
The first thing that's apparent about the album is its goofy, unserious vibe, which is mostly due to manipulated samples of films, radio broadcasts or other spoken word recordings that are repurposed as duck-centric interludes. An example -- though it's probably a voice actor rather than a sample -- is at the end of the first track, where a man with a pompous voice rails against "those ignorami whose minds have not been en-duck-cated in duck-ology 101..." In keeping with this utterly ridiculous premise is the actual music found on Quack, which, for the most part, is a wildly enjoyable update on one of the world's most loathed genres: disco. But Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, with its self-serious "Give Life Back to Music" mission, this ain't. A-Trak and Van Helden are clearly out here to party, not change the world.
Whether its in the form of their pitched-down hypeman alter egos "Charlie Chazz & Rappin Ralph," or the novelty-turned-hit single "Barbara Streisand," Quack rarely has moments that aren't winking at its listeners in giddy amusement. Whereas other DJs use drama to build up suspense for beat drops or other musical transitions, Duck Sauce use comical funk for a much less abrasive assault on the senses. Naming tracks "Spandex" and "Radio Stereo" may seem ridiculous -- and it is -- but think of Quack as one big riff on the disco era, pointing out its dated sounds and ephemera while reveling in its excesses. Were Top Gun made twenty years later, it could almost be a biting parody of the era in which it was originally released, and that's what Quack seems like: a fantastic, irreverent homage to disco culture.