Duck Sauce: A “Quack” recap…
Time flies during the last month of 2020, which means that NYE celebrations are right around the corner. If you don’t have any plans, the best decision is to join Tomorrowland New Year’s Eve party with a historic performance by world-renowned American–Canadian DJ duo Duck Sauce. The powerhouse pair, consisting of two of the most iconic DJ/producers A-Trak and Armand Van Helden, doesn’t need an introduction. Their significance and contribution to the electronic music scene is undeniable, therefore this brief timeline is to serve as a reminder of the impact Duck Sauce had on the industry.
Before they started to work together, Alain Macklovitch, a.k.a. A-Trak, was a huge hip-hop fan as a kid and soon got into scratching, learning the craft of turntablism at a young age from Canadian DJs like Kid Koala. 15-year-old Alain entered the famous DMC World DJ Championship in 1997, and won the competition, being crowned as the youngest champion. He rapidly rose to prominence and competed until 2000, winning all three major DJ competition titles and five World Championships. Playing in a tiny record shop in London in 2007 led him to be introduced to Kanye West, which turned into a blooming partnership between the two, as A-Trak became his touring DJ, working together with him on two of the rapper’s studio albums, ‘Late Registration‘ and ‘Graduation‘. The same year he launched his own imprint Fool’s Gold Records, credited for developing the careers of artists such as Kid Cudi and Flosstradamus. South from Montreal, Armand Van Helden was making beats at home in Boston for quite a while prior A-Trak, producing his own house music during the late ’80s, completely self-taught. At the time, he was one of the few people in his city making and playing house, even when he started his residency at a local club, The Loft. In the 90’s he was on remixing duty for the Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson and Puff Daddy and also joined Strictly Rhythm label, being under the same roof as Todd Terry and Roger Sanchez. In 1999, he released one of his biggest tunes ‘You Don’t Know Me‘ which topped the UK and Billboard charts. becoming a worldwide phenomenon and securing his spot again on those lists with two of his other most well-known hits, MyMyMy‘ in 2006 and ‘I Want Your Soul‘ in 2007.2006 was a special year for their individual careers, the same year they first met each other. To quote A-Trak:
“We started hanging out in New York, and figured out straight away that we were gonna be best friends. We had similar taste in music, similar sense of humour… we were both sorta in the house scene, but hip-hop guys at heart.”
The journey of Duck Sauce eventually began in 2009 in New York, dropping their first track ‘aNYway‘ that year, blending the the 70’s disco sound with pumping house beats, paving the way for their special Duck Sauce sound. Their debut EP ‘Greatest Hits‘ was released in 2010, the year we will never forget. The duo released their biggest track as of today, ‘Barbra Streisand ‘ on September 10 in 2010, amassing millions of views on YouTube and more than 61 million streams on Spotify. It reached the #1 spot on charts all over the world and landed a Grammy nomination for Duck Sauce. In 2011, they dropped ‘Big Bad Wolf‘, with a quite surreal and shocking video clip, nominated for an MTV Video Music Award, and so did the visuals for their song, ‘It’s You’. It didn’t come as a surprise when they debuted on Pete Tong’s iconic radio show at BBC Radio 1, delivering their first Essential Mix in 2013, filled with unreleased gems and delicate house tracks. ‘Quack’, their debut studio album, came out via Fool’s Gold Records on April 14, 2014, inspired by the duo’s strong connection with New York hip-hop, Chicago house, disco, spiced up with their sense of humor.
After a 6 year hiatus, Duck Sauce announced their comeback in January, definitely a silver lining during these challenging times. They returned with a new single, ‘Smiley Face‘ as well as a bunch of new uplifting disco-house cuts, ‘Get To Steppin’ ,‘Captain Duck’, ‘I Don’t Mind’ and their latest single ‘Mesmerize‘. Besides, Armand van Helden and A-Trak launched their interview series, Duck Duck Goose, to sit down at the virtual table with special guests, such the pioneers of the music industry, Todd Terry, DJ Premier, David Guetta and Kenny Dope, to name a few. To mark their return, Duck Sauce curated a brand new BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, filled with dancefloor bangers, setting the mood for their set at Tomorrowland festival’s special New Year’s Eve night. After all these releases, we can expect nothing but a top quality house party from the duo.
You definitely don’t want to miss out on the unique performance of Duck Sauce, so make sure you get your Tomorrowland tickets and join the PLANAXIS stage between 21:45 – 22:30 on December 31 to properly bid farewell to 2020.
Image Credit: Rukes.com