allright i wouldnt normally think stuff like this should have a thread all to itself, but so far, we're looking at joke threads and music-o-the-moment superthreads that no one reads, so lets talk about the new and wonderful things of 2007 we've been getting excited about.
starting with mine seems the only logical next step
(in alphabetical order):
!!! - Myth Takes
critics always gave singer nic offer a bad time for his lyrics, but put behind hedonistic music like "must be the moon" it always seemed kind of pointless,a dn it was always more fun than bad. one of my favorite songs of this year, the rest of them arent that far behind. stuffed with ideas with far too many instruments going, their songs remain quick, sleazy, and compact and are a great improvement over their last album. this one is one of the stronger albums to play beginning to end, though the last track kinda makes it stumble at the finish line
Air - Pocket Symphony.
this one is pretty conflicting. inspired by the last take on "talkie walkie", 'lost in kyoto', they decided to make a whiole album chasing after that feeling that made sofia coppola put them in her movie. what results is a travel-sick album full of assured and simple songwriting that is either beautifully normal or infuriatingly mundane. just depends on the mood i guess.
Amiina - Kurr
Sigur ros stand-bys Amiina, a group of three women who build simple arrangements that follow linear layering of classical instruments, also require a lot of patience. they've abandoned the immediately emotional composition in favor of something sounding more quaint. it's either a more subtle record or simply an uninteresting one, but there is a door to understanding or dismissing them, and it's called "rugla". a clear standout of the album, it decides whether you'll be intrigued enough to keep listening or just shelve it as being "pretty enough"
Amon Tobin - Foley Room
after taking sampling basically to its limit on 'out from out where', tobin progressed into the not-so-novel territory of field recordings. this album, however, is astounding simply for tobin's sense of aesthetic behind the sounds he's recording and how his compositions turn them into something purely musical and not "hey look i can make a train sound musical innit rad". using a tactic that is almost never apparent, much like herbert's scale, may or may not defeat the purpose of using field recordings, but it's a fucking fine album full of sublime and visceral compositions that probably make it the best of his carreer.
Apparat - Walls
an arrested progression and a new direction in one. this album is a weird lil fucker that continues his trend of effete noise placing and listenable beats, but he sounds like he wants to make some real pop songs and not be so abstract. this results in some horrid vocal work, because germans have shit for taste when it comes to vocalists (haha, jk but not really), combined with some sweeping, huge sounding songs that could give M83 a run for its money. pretty intriguing, but i dont know if it's really a progression into better songwriting, and it might just fall into forgotten obscurity.
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible.
hey, recognized that one, i bet. yes, i like the arcade fire. always have. while i dont think they're the second coming like the impossible wall of hype suggested, i do think this album is a lot better than "funeral" which has me super excited. i'm just a sucker for that ugly wide-eyed and fearful determination that infects almost all of their songs.
Battles - Mirrored
Warp moves in weird directions again. an instrumental band with a predilection for muppet sounding voices, cranky guitars, and combatively bouncy drums. it's a manic fucking album, not in the sense of lightning-bolt-speed, but in how ridiculously spastic and sugar-high-weird it continually ascends to. it's also pretty damn good.
Bjork - Volta
not much to say about this one yet. the leak was in kind of crappy quality, but it does sound extremely exciting. if you have any interest be ready to hate or love a song called "declare independence"
Dan Deacon - Spiderman of the Rings
oh yeah, speaking of manic earlier, this one can be crowned the king and take the fucking cake home. he's crazy, maybe a bit indied out, but genuinely full of that crack-high he translates into song form. most will just think it's bullshit noise and fever, but there's a few fans here and there. one thing that's undeniable tho, and definitely another one of the best songs of 07, is that "wham city" is a fucking great 12 minute tune.
Do Make Say Think - You, You're a History in Rust
Mogwai caught a fair amount of flak for stripping down and forgetting to make routine 9 minute crescendo cracking tunes that memorialize the universe and all of mankind, which should have died after GYBE's "yanqui uxo". instead they made 5 minute tunes that may or may not have rocked but put melody paramount above everything, which honestly made "friend of the night" the best track of 06. do make say think, along with heavy influence from broken social scene, have driven out to country and made a gorgeous and pastoral album thats one of the warmest and most touching albums of the year so far. so it got widely dissed for going absolutely nowhere. to decide for yourself, download the track "a tender history in rust" and see if you want more.
Explosions in the Sky - All of a sudden i miss everyone
here's a band that wont surprise anyone. did you hear the last album? sounds a lot like that one. EITS, however, write amazing melodies to the point where i'm there strictly for that and i'm never disappointed. they can ascend and descend with all the appropriate bombast, but as long as they maintain that essential core of fucking great musicmanship, i couldnt care less.
The Field - From Here we Go Sublime
curveball of the year so far. will literally repeat a techno loop for 6 minutes with only the most minor changes in bassline or chord, and what results is not an increasing annoyance but a growing thrill at the sum total of this repetition as the vision of it seems to expand rather than kill itself. there's one other group that i can think of that find a magic moment or loop and exploit the hell out of it to great effect, and that's Boards of Canada. it's a rare talent that i think rarely surfaces but is exceedingly special when it does.
Gabriel Ananda - Bambusbeats
Techno these days is kind of run over by formalists and club-conscious geeks who are there for the conceptual thrills and minor subtleties rather than good, solid, and layered tracks that can make for amazing home listening. gabriel ananda is one of the best names in the game because he confidently plays both sides. the guy can destroy a club but is aware that the casual beauty of tracks like lamakova can trill a decent soundsystem in the privacy of ones own home. a rare techno album in that it actually works remarkably well played from beginning to end, i can't recommend this one enough.
Gui Boratto - Chromophobia
boy, we're really getting heavy into techno right now... a producer from venezuela (i think), boratto has an acrid but elegant approach to his super slick compositions that result in off beat but infectious grooves that can either repeat endlessly or keep building until they fall apart. mildly overrated but still worth checking out.
Kalabrese - Rumpelzirkus
used to be the curveball of the year. a former hip hop producer (from fucking switzerland?!), he got into the techno business and made it delightfully WEIRD again. using mostly acoustic instruments and wooden production, he produces a crazy, honest, and awkward funk out of his thick sounds and strange lyrics. one one of the best and most infectious cuts, he basically talk-sings about being trapped and groovin in a chicken farm. definately one of the more distinctive albums of the year.
Matthew Dear - Asa Breed
real name alias of Audion, trying to make pop songs instead of filthy techno, too weird to tell. 'deserter' is all amazing
Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
Trent Reznor focuses outside of himself for once and writes about how we're all fucked 15 years from now. did his writing get any better? not really. is it tolerable? yes. how's the music? fucking excellent. beats n noise. still sound like articulated pop songs so he really hasnt let go completely, but it's a huge step in the right direction after the semi-limpid pile of with teeth. also, the album is about 15% of the story. there's people who can write better than reznor who have constructed a huge alternate reality found through a large network of sites (on ninwiki.com) that extend the concept past marketing and make it something worth exploring.
Pan Sonic - Katodivaihe
industrial techno veterans come out with a new album after their 4CD long 'Kesto' and it's back to business as usual, but more of their tricks in a more compact amount of time. enormous blasts of noise and squalor are follwed by drone tracks and moderately heavy pulsating numbers. the sounds are a lot warmer and we're introduced to acoustic instruments, but even that addition doesnt make a radically different, albeit pretty dan good, release. good for beginners, i'd say.
Panda Bear - Person Pitch.
the guy from animal collective retreats into his own head and comes out with a delerious, long-playing, layered, reverb-drenched take on 60s pop, stripped of anything self-conscious and actively decrying the coolness of making music (and probaly the "coolness" his band have uncomfortably acheived these days) and just went for sounding... kinda childish and naive. full of impressive artwork and beautiful ambience cut through with aggressive drums and acoustics, it's a very beautiful album
Pantha Du Prince - This Bliss
back to techno and probably one of the best releases of this year. the thing that makes techno work so well is when it feels like a written song instead of endlessly looping what sounds like a good beat with a killer bassline or synth pad. i really dont want to use the word atmospheric, but since i've used everyother hep-critic word in the book so far, i may as well use it for this album if for any of them. cold-sounding elements sparsely arranged together form a beautiful if hard to describe mix of subtle rhythms and rich attention to details. doesnt indulge at all in supefluous distraction, every sound has a purpose that only enhances the work.
Shining - Grindstone
the first time i played this swedish band around the house my sister said "sounds like metalocalypse a little bit." then the horns and flute came in and she gave a funny look, then the over-the-top cinematic-score elements kicked in and she finally asked "what the hell is this?"
i dont know. it's chaotic as shit, corny as hell, even-handedly smacked down by their former band, saying "we dont want to release a demented rock opera", impregnated with jazz influences, and moments where you feel you should be flying high or raising hell. seriously, this is something where most of you should love at the very least, the first three tracks. i guarandamntee it.
Teenage Bad Girl - Coccote
recently acquired this. fuzzed out dirty electro in the tradition of ed banger, the best record label in the universe.
Von Sudenfed - Tomatic Reflexxions
by now i'm thinking everyone has just hit scroll to reply simply to say tl;dr, so i'll just say this
MOUSE ON MARS AND MARK E SMITH
NOISE N BEATS WITH DRUNKEN RAMBLING