The Turner Music Prize 2007, vol. 1

It's a bit late, I know, but 2007 was such a doozie in terms of music that now that we're done with 2008, a revisit is well in order. Some of the most exciting bands and artists currently working in music unleashed tunes in 2007. So brace yerself; volume one has, as Lord Percy said to Sir Blackadder's crossdressing man-servant Kate, «balls!»

TURNER MUSIC PRIZE 2007, Vol. 1 [.zip file]
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1. of Montreal: «The Past Is a Grotesque Animal»
Only the beloved, so it seems to the lover… can in this world bring about what our human limitations deny, a total blending of two beings, a continuity between two discontinuous creatures. Hence love spells suffering for us in so far as it is a quest for the impossible… Through the beloved appears … full and limitless being unconfined within the trammels of separate personalities, continuity of being, glimpsed as a deliverance through the person of the beloved. There is something absurd and horribly commixed about this conception, yet beyond the absurdity, the confusion and the suffering there lies a miraculous truth. There is nothing really illusory in the truth of love; the beloved being is indeed equated for the lover—and only for him no doubt, but what of that?—with the truth of existence.
—Georges Bataille
From Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

2. Fuck Buttons: «Bright Tomorrow»
The Fuck Buttons’ debut 7-inch (no, I’m not referring to some cherry-poppin' man-bits) is what chill-out ambient should sound like. And that band name alone merits inclusion on any end-of-year list…
From «Bright Tomorrow» 7”

3. Spoon: «Don't You Evah» (Diplo mix)
This track seems minimalistic, but it's its seeming minimalism that allows you to notice all the details and changes going on, undermining this «simplicity». Rich and subtle all at once—and a little skewed—house music rarely sounded this good. It's even got a trace of human emotion! (Who said you can't dance to tristesse?)
From «Don't You Evah» digital single

4. GhostHustler: «Busy Busy Busy»
This is just sweaty, dirty, smelly rock’n’roll masquerading as electro—krumping at the Fight Club—all attitude and sexed belligerence—the sound of a demented spazz breakdancing—on psychoactive drugs. Glorious!
Not from any album (yet), this is one of those one-hit blog wonders.

5. Von Südenfed: «Fledermaus Can't Get It»
2007—what a year for testes! The fucker’s downstairs in the basement on this one. Mouse On Mars team up with Mark E. Smith for a track that’s as ruinous to virtue as any piece of music in human history. Twisted, pissed off and gagging for it (sometimes on it, by the sound of things), this track is pure hedonism—one of the saviours or redeemers of electronic music (justifying the genre's very existence with its
technology-defying human weakness) and the aural equivalent to rotten street speed (which, incidentally, is probably exactly what Fledermaus is referring to when he drones on that «I can't get it now, but I can get it»).
From Tromatic Reflexxions

6. The Fall: «Fall Sound»
… and they just keep coming. You can smell this song. «D-r-r-r-r-r-r-r! / You’ve just woken up to Fall sound-uh!» After driving his entire band and manager to mutiny on tour, «’80s reprobate» Mark E. Smith apparently just assembled some fresh meat along the way and, unruffled, stopped over in studios to seemingly effortlessly record monuments to attitude. Like this track, where he baits the former backing band he considered «TLC»—traitors, liars and cunts («thieving, lying cunts,» by some accounts). With a set of new and unfamiliar musicians behind him, Smith sticks it to his old band by giving us all a much-needed vitamin shot of that «F-f-f-fall sound-uh!». But then, as the man himself says, «If it's me and yer granny on bongos, it's the Fall.» Bless him. The world needs Mark E. Smith. 30 years into his career and at the age of 50, he still doesn’t let us down: «It’s a scream for help that’s desperate / But it’s tough luck!»
From Reformation Post TLC
7. Grinderman: «When My Love Comes Down»
The aural equivalent to libido, up and down, half of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds a.k.a. Grinderman’s «debut» album has several cool tracks on it, the obvious future pop culture reference being the driving, driven «No Pussy Blues». But «When My Love Comes Down» is the
embodiment of the frightfulness and terror of lust/love, and is probably the coolest love song lyric from the hand of Mr. Cave: «Your skin is like the falling snow / Your hair is like the rising sun / Your tongue is like a Kalashnikov / Or some other foreign gun»… (Reminds me of someone I used to know…)
From Grinderman

8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: «Isis»
For fear of sounding like a bloody misery-guts, this is the kind of track that makes you want to dance, except no dance floor DJ will ever play it, either because a) it's not the kind of instantly recognisable hit self-conscious people need in order to dare venture onto the dance floor, or b) it's not the feelgood (or at the very least emotionally neutral) type of music DJs tend to believe are the only pieces of music fit to move your feet to. It’s an emotionally retarded situation that's emblematic of our times.
From «Is Is» EP

9. The Vandelles: «Lovely Weather»
They’re trying too hard to be cool when cool has to be effortless, but the glorious noise of this track is redeeming, and then some. And it doesn't hurt that the overall vibe is so damn sultry
From «The Vandelles» EP10. Times New Viking: «Teenage Lust!»
«I don’t want to die in the city alone.» Quite reasonable, really.
From Times New Viking Present the Paisley Reich

11. Black Lips: «I Saw a Ghost (Lean)»
As Todd Killings once wrote of Black Lips, they're
… just not right for this world. … Seriously slurred swashbucklers living out the ultimate teenage dream, yet breaking through another layer of remarkable idiocy, transcribed through hallucinations, exasperation, and perfectly casual dick fumbling. … How the Black Lips manage to walk through the perfumed garden of life is a miracle of modern bullshit, but a miracle nonetheless. Their validity is overwhelming and so refreshing, it almost makes me dizzy, and the way they can find their way through the mundane darkness of modern music and discover their own notes and chords between the lines is unparalleled by their peers. … These boys have tapped into a very secret well that everyone wants to drink from. Too bad it's got weird bent rainbows and chunks of shit floating in it.
From Good Bad Not Evil

12. The Warlocks: «So Paranoid»
A band that struggles with pooling enough talent and whatever je ne sais quois it is that great bands have (wait a minute, did I just use that expression?!), the Warlocks occasionally come up with an utterly hypnotising doozie. This one perfectly captures that woe-is-me Desolation Of The Soul experienced by those of us who wish we were
merely «so, so, so paranoid,» yet know only too well that it’s just that we’re not buying into the lies that people so readily tell themselves and each other… Thank you, Warlocks.
From Heavy Deavy Skull Lover

13. Sonic Youth: «I'm Not There»
Originally recorded in 1967 by Bob Dylan and the Band, this song was never released until it came out on the soundtrack to that pretentious Dylan biopic that takes its title from this obscure song. Dylan was probably still woozy from a motorcycle accident when he wrote this one; the lyric seems confused, and perhaps the reason it took 40 years to release is that it’s a little «unfinished». I use quotation marks, not because I want to be pretentious, but because it seems to me the lyrics work better that way; a song may seem more sincere when it’s not covered up in the usual literary decoys employed by Dylan in his sometimes evasive, often overly clever lyrics. But I digress—this is Sonic Youth’s version, and Thurston Moore never sang so well, his weary drawl drawing in the essence of the words.
From I'm Not There

14. Arctic Monkeys: «505»
From Favourite Worst Nightmare

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