OK fine… I will admit that Armand Van Helden is behind some undeniable classic house bangers (“Witch Doktor”, “You Don’t Know Me”, anyone?), but he always came off kinda jerk-ish, to me anyways, in his magazine interviews that I read so it was refreshing to see him team up with fellow DJ/turntablish A-Trak to form Duck Sauce and prove that there are some yuck-yucks behind that “too cool for school” exterior.
“NRG” is the latest from the Partners In Sauce and the track is a sample-heavy slice of feel good summer anthem house with an equally giddy video to match. The clip finds the duo playing both couch potatoes and pitch men to “NRG”, the ultimate late night infomercial pushing the miracle product that cleans toilets, spruces up turkey dinners, increases sex drives and opens locked hotel room doors! A product this good deserves a party, of course, so we’re treated to the kooky cast of NRG devotees getting their living room rave on amidst laser lights and A & A behind the decks.
Again, it’s nice to see Van Helden loosen up a bit after years of taking himself way too seriously and deliver what could easily become one of the songs of summer. A bit of investigation into the sample origin revealed that “NRG” borrows quite liberally from a mids 80s Melissa Manchester song that will now be the hit it shamefully wasn’t thirty years before. Actually, the fellas didn’t so much “borrow” as they did “jack the whole song and throw a thumping club beat underneath their cut ‘n’ paste edit of the track.” I’m including the original clip for “Energy” as well cuz the shoulder pads, big hair and Momma Manchester absolutely.selling-it is everything you need from an 80’s video. Grade: B+ (for both)
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