Mike’s favourite 36 tracks of 2007 thus far.

(Originally compiled for a non-blog related reason. It seemed a shame to waste it.)

(No more than one track per artist has been permitted. This is especially harsh on Amerie, LCD Soundsystem, Marc Almond and Maria McKee.)

A Modern Midnight Conversation – Chemical Brothers
Late 1983/early 1984 Italo-disco rattles and squelches meet the bassline from underground psychedelic-disco classic “Crystal World” by Crystal Grass. And that’s just the first minute…

A Sentence Of Sorts In Kongsvinger – Of Montreal
Sugar-rushing indie-pop from, um, Athens Georgia actually. The wags!

All My Friends – LCD Soundsystem
After their disappointing debut album, I didn’t see this masterpiece coming at all. Following their stunning appearance on Later, this is now the band that I most want to see performing live in the whole wide world, yes even including YOU The Arcade Fire.

Ankle Injuries – Fujiya & Miyagi
The one that goes “Like pixelated scraps of jazz mags in your headlights”. Oh, you know the one.

Atlas – Battles
The one with the chunka-chunka-chunka-chunka glitter-stomp beat and the Ten Pole Tudor chipmunks. Nice proggy influences on the rest of the album, but this one stands alone.

Boring – The Pierces
“Sexy boy… girl on girl… menage à trois… BORING.” Bonus points for the whistling and the trumpet impersonations.

D.A.N.C.E. – Justice
“D.A.N.C.E. undoubtedly qualifies as the best use of a children’s choir in dance music (yes there’s the Go! Team, but the kids there were sampled) this side of the Smart E’s deconstructing “Sesame Street” on TOTP back in 1992.”Marcello Carlin.

Elephant’s Parade – Minilogue
Proving once again that great music can be found in the strangest of places, even cover-mounted mix CDs on the front of Mixmag.

F**k It, I Love You – Malcolm Middleton
Yes, him out of Arab Strap. Plaintive yet uplifting.

Herculean – The Good, The Bad & The Queen
All that press hype at the beginning of the year was a bit off-putting, wasn’t it? Seven months later, the album stands as 2007’s slowest grower. The dilettantism of Damon Albarn: it’s a Good Thing, isn’t it?

Hùg air a Bhonaid Mhòir – Julie Fowlis
Bouncy-pigtailed Outer Hebridean folk. 2007 has been nothing if not varied.

Icky Thump – White Stripes
There’s life yet in that thar bass-less rock. Killer riff an’ all…

I’m A Broken Heart – The Bird & The Bee
Lesley Gore-lifting winsome prettiness, and surprisingly English-sounding for a Los Angeles act.

I’m A Flirt – R.Kelly ft. T.I. & T-Pain
Oh, I shouldn’t. But, irresistable. And quite quite bonkers.

It’s The Beat – Simian Mobile Disco
Cookie-crewed-up neo-electro, with a canny Marshall Jefferson synth stab. You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?

Late December – Maria McKee
Me mate Maria! Here’s a live version, in the same outfit as when I saw her in Nottingham. Wonder if she fixed that rip?

Let It Go – Keyshia Cole
Love those rhythmic nods to Mtume and The SOS Band.

Lil’ Star – Kelis ft. Cee-Lo
Talk about a change of style. Who would have thought that such tender humility would suit Kelis so well?

Männer Sind So Scheisse Sexy – The Admirals ft. Seraphina
Silly Teutonic-electro, which ticks all my easiest-access boxes. If loving this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Matadjem Yinmixan – Tinariwen
Andy Kershaw chose this on Desert Island Discs, you know. Here’s a seriously good live version from the Montreux Jazz Festival, featuring Carlos Santana. I urge you all to click.

No Pussy Blues – Grinderman
“I sent her every type of flower, I played her guitar by the hour, I patted her revolting little chihuahua, but still she just didn’t want to.” Nick Cave does funny, with a scuzzier, gnarlier sound than we’ve become used to.

Out Of Control (Song 4 Mutya) – Groove Armada ft Mutya Buena
Yet another monster monster juggernaut of a neo-electro riff, and a much better showcase for the ex-Sugababe than all that George Michael & Lenny Kravitz nonsense.

Over The Ice – The Field
Minimal techno that I can get with. Oddly soothing, and more so over time. It’s all in the texture.

Overpowered – Roisin Murphy
The continuation of Goldfrapp by other means? Ooh, she’d hate that.

Perfect Exceeder – Mason vs Princess Superstar
More Cookie-crewed neolectro juggernautism, which rocked our collective worlds during this year’s Which Decade Is Top For Pops, didn’t it guys and gals?

Potential Breakup Song – Aly & AJ
Autotuned automata deliver synthetic synthpop goodness. Massive earworm, this one.

Slideshow – Rufus Wainwright
The show-stopper from Release The Stars, whose emotional fulcrum pits a winningly abstract Richard Thompson against thrilling deep soul horn stabs.

Starz In Their Eyes – Just Jack
Came into its own when some bright spark at the Nottingham Arena bunged it on during the interval of the X Factor tour. (Not that anyone noticed, which made it all the more poignant…)

Take Control – Amerie
The absolute highlight of the stunning first half of her second album. That cheeky En Vogue steal is just the icing on the cake.

The Ballad Of The Sad Young Men – Marc Almond ft Antony Hegarty
Me mate Marc! I’ve never been much of an Almond fan, which made Stardom Road all the more revelatory. Has he ever sounded quite this accomplished, acute and true?

The Creeps (Fedde Le Grand Remix) – Camille Jones
See also Simian Mobile Disco, Groove Armada, Justice, Roisin Murphy, Mason, The Admirals. Why don’t I go out dancing more often?

The Dancing – June Tabor
The current heavy rotation power-play in our household, courtesy of my Born Again Folkie Life Partner. Tears in the eyes, almost every time… and I choose not to analyse why.

The Magic Position – Patrick Wolf
There’s something very Spring 1983 about this.

Umbrella – Rihanna ft. Jay-Z
It took the full ten weeks to appreciate its majesty, but I got there in the end. Nice weather we’ve been having since it tumbled off the top last Sunday…

You! Me! Dancing! – Los Campesinos!
Anthemic indie-pop air puncher. I love everything that they stand for.

Your Love Is A Tease – Rod Thomas (BUY!)
My 7-incher of the year. Actually, my only 7-incher of the year. Breezy soundtrack to the summer that never was (but still might be). Anyone else remember The Lotus Eaters?

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