CONFIDENCE MAN have led the way with portable Australian party duos but following close behind as Berlin-based DUCKS!

With three albums ‘Ding Ding Ding’, ‘Nak Nak’ and ‘Things That Were Lost’ to their name, Lani Bagley and Craig Schuftan develop their “Music for dreaming and dancing” ethos further on ‘Yes You Can’t’. Produced from 4 years of late-night jams and studio explorations, the sound is swathed in the hedonistic freedom of the one-time Mauerstadt’s diverse art and club scene. The duo themselves describe the album as about “who we are and who we aren’t”.

With glitches, mantric phrases and self-samples, ‘A Proposition’ makes an elegant opener while the reggae flavour of ‘Shiver’ provides an interesting twist to the sax and synth backdrop. Featuring the Gallic allure of Canadian DJ Christa Belle, ‘Blame’ is shaped by a stuttering tribal snap and segues straight into the dreamglitch of ‘Mesmerised’.

Photo by Harriet Richardson

Things then take a dancey turn with ‘Swept Away’, a sunny club tune with playful pitch-shifted voices to compliment the main vocal that runs seamlessly into ‘The Dance Mania’ (again with Christa Belle) to continue the fun before segueing into the instrumental interlude ‘Tricky’. While still danceable, the artier ‘Hey You’ provides a slight breakbeat variation but ‘Unlonely’ gets deeper, as does the moody ‘Step Aside’.

‘What What’ featuring Linda Colour J will polarise in its garage template and vocal manipulations but to close, ‘Simply Indestructible’ springs a surprise with a drum machine driven indie guitar romp about an “apocalyptic masochist” with brass dressing thrown in.

Despite the album’s wider reaching topics covering self-image, playacting, denial, social anxiety, DUCKS! take the listener on an escapist neo-psychedelic journey out of the house and onto the dancefloor with a playful cerebral artiness. While not to everyone’s taste ‘Yes You Can’t’ is a fun avant dance collection that will be savoured by those who get it.

‘Yes You Can’t’ is released by Tiny Lights, available on the usual online platforms including

Text by Chi Ming Lai
29 September 2023