Somewhere in the midst of an Armand Van Helden internet blackhole, I rediscovered Barbra Streisand.
Released five years ago this week, the song became like ringworm, stuck into the heads and hearts of the entire world for the latter part of 2010. A bi product of Armand and A-Track's playful side project, Duck Sauce, Barbra Streisand became number one in six countries, finding itself played incessantly until finally, someone pulled the plug.
Re visiting Barbra Streisand’s music video becomes as much a visual memory jerk as it is an aural one. Filmed at a time when Twitter was just finding its feet and YouTube was the home of ad free DIY uploads, it's a funny but kind of sad reminder of how things have done changed even in as little as five years.
For example, here's Diplo, looking decidedly less serious than you would ever find him now. 'Barbra Streisand' came out a year after the release of Major Lazer's debut, 'Guns Don't Kill People, Lazers Do', made back when UK producer Switch was still part of the group and when Skrillex was probably still making screamo.
At the time he was working heavily with Santigold, seen in the video teaching A-Trak some dance moves.
Santigold helped bring fresh musical associations to New York's left field, a sound that had been dominated by the garage rock sounds of The Strokes, Interpol and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and along with Ezra Koening of Vampire Weekend, proved that NYC's music scene was not just about white people in leather jackets.
Via Barbra Streisand, we're refreshingly treated to now superstars who are careful to curate every aspect of what we see of them in 2015.
Pharrell Williams, looking exactly the same as he always has done. 2010 marked the beginning of what has been one of the most remarkable rises to fame of any producer.
A refreshingly candid snapshot of Kanye West, undoctored and unedited, if only for a second.
We catch glimpses of artists like then It Babe Uffie, the First Lady of seminal French label, Ed Banger. Tracks like 'Pop The Glock' and 'ADD SUV' (released in 2010 with Pharrell on production and Armand on remix duties) caught the hearts of hype blogs, though her career failed to materialise into anything more substantial.
where are u now?
Whereas Uffie faded from this video into obscurity, someone who appears is a character who has only risen to predominance, non other than the now ubiquitous owner of social media real estate, Fat Jew.
Five years ago the 'cultural commentator' was a member of comedy rap group Team Facelift. He left the music industry the year Barbra Streisand was released, sensing opportunity elsewhere. To think that Instagram didn't even exist in 2010, he has since become the world's first male plus size model, and hosts a show called "Money Pizza Respect" on Beats 1.
In amongst the unexpected and the now non existent is that reliable, in the form of Todd Terry and Questlove, both artists who in their own right prove their eternal relevance.
Revered in 2010 and now legendary in 2015, they have weathered the storms the music industry has faced since the beginnings, and will continue to prove that in amongst the bullshit, true talent remains steadfast and as important as ever.
So what does 'Barbra Streisand' mean? It's probably just the throwaway accompaniment to a song that should probably remain on the second compilation disc of 2010 party anthems, though if nothing else is shows that five years has been the making or breaking of Duck Sauce's friends.
Some have continued their trajectory of success regardless of scenario. Santigold and Ezra have respectively continued to release critically acclaimed music, natural born music makers who were born from a bubble pot of excitement that 'Barbra Streisand' captures perfectly.
A few have had their careers affected by something on the cusp of explosion. Uffie, a burgeoning artist, could have capitalised on the likes of Soundcloud to grow and maintain her following and fanbase. The Fat Jew dipped out of music when he saw a gap in the market elsewhere. Their relevance means everything or nothing to depending on whose watching, proving that it doesn't matter if you're mates with Armand.
As for the others; rest assured we won't see Kanye or Pharrell cropping up in candid music videos again. Barbra Streisand captured a hey day, and for that, we can only learn to love it then loathe it again.
11 Sep 2015