Duck Sauce, the duo of A-Trak and Armand Van Helden, are readying the release of their debut LP Quack. It’s a collection of 12 songs meshed with skits, prank phone calls, radio promos and nods to hip-hop classics. “As a dance act, people expect us to make singles,” A-Trak tells Rolling Stone. “We thought it would be cool to make an album, with a listening experience front to back; [a] very visual kind of album.”
The two bonded over their love for hip-hop, Eighties music videos and Phil Collins and those influences form the base for Quack. “Duck Sauce might be house music, but we don’t listen to house music at home, we listen to a lot of older stuff,” says A-Trak, citing the Beastie Boys‘ Paul’s Boutique and Prince Paul as common inspirations. Van Helden’s record is also a major source for the album, with A-Trak describing it as a “gold mine.”
For example, “Ring Me” funks up A La Carte’s “Ring Me, Honey” with their take on the female trio’s disco tune and “Everyone” is a synth-heavy, feel-good thumper that features A-Trak’s brother Dave 1 of Chromeo on vocals. Another stand-out, “Spandex,” draws inspiration from Dutch synth-pop band Time Bandit’s “Live It Up,” blending the track with a Duck Sauce house groove. “There is logic in it, but mostly illogic,” Van Helden says.
Over the last four years, Duck Sauce has excelled at making infectious viral videos for songs like “Barbra Streisand and “Big Bad Wolf” – Quack retains the duo’s warped sense of humor that makes their visuals a hit. “I think we figured out early on that when we really have fun in the studio, when we laugh at our own music, that is usually when something good happens.”
“What’s cool with this album also is it’s a treasure trove of materials that we can have fun with,” A-Trak continues. “With our videos we never approach them literally, it’s always this blank canvas; dance music is repetitive, and not very deep, so when we make a video it is just a pre-text to make a piece of art that has a certain soundscape.”
Quack is due out this spring on Fools Gold.