20 tracks that made 2007 the best year ever
It’s been a decade, and we’re ready to call it: 2007 was the best year ever.
Just look at the evidence: Uffie was the coolest girl in the world, Kanye wore shutter shades, the Cobra Snake shot every party worth attending, your MySpace page was still active, Hipster Runoff was king of the blogs and you could still buy two-for-one Jägerbombs. The phones were flip, the t-shirts were Deep V and the MP3s were 128kbps, if you were lucky.
For dance music, it’s hard to think of another year that holds a torch to 2007. This was the time when bloghaus, indie-dance and French electro all converged. Justice released Cross, Ed Banger was at its peak, Boys Noize was working overtime on remixes and homegrown electro kings The Presets, Cut Copy and Midnight Juggernauts ran the local scene.
So to tip a hat to the greatest year of all time, DAVE RUBY HOWE (who, like any scenester worth his salt, was busy running a blog at the time) picked out 20 of 2007’s most unforgettable tracks. You probably heard them all playing over the speakers of American Apparel (RIP) a decade ago.
#20 Tonite Only – ‘Where The Party’s At’
It only makes sense that when super-producers Sam La More and GT got together, they made hits of the highest order. Laying down shreds of distortion with some genuine club muscle, Where The Party’s At went hard from the start and stayed that way. A not-at-all secret weapon for the mainroom electro DJs of Australia.
#19 Sebastien Tellier – ‘Sexual Sportswear’
Frenchman Sebastien Tellier arrived back on the scene in 2007 with this gem, the first taste of his album Sexuality. And there’s one man to thank for his embrace of electronica on the LP: Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, who served as the record’s producer. Sexual Sportswear swirls elegantly about the place, coming off like a funkier A Clockwork Orange theme, which is fitting as its sprawling, woozy quality is positively Kubrick-ian.
#18 Muscles – ‘Ice Cream’
While 2007 saw releases from the biggest guns of electro – Justice, Digitalism, Cut Copy – one of the most peculiar artefacts of that time can be found in Muscles and his fantastically odd hit Ice Cream. His career didn’t exactly soar in the years that followed, but in ’07 Muscles was backed by Bang Gang and Modular, a festival regular thanks to his album Guns Babes Lemonade and the man of the minute for busted beats, sugar-coated synthesisers and vocal yelps. Listening back now, the dude almost sounds ahead of his time.
#17 Holy Ghost! – ‘Hold On’
While large portions of the electronic community was caught up with distortion at the time, 2007 also saw the emergence of two New Yorkers keen on carrying the disco torch. Released on James Murphy’s iconic DFA imprint, Hold On introduced the Holy Ghost! duo in glorious style with crisp hi-hats atop a tasty analog groove.
#16 Kylie Minogue – ‘In My Arms’ (Prod. Calvin Harris)
Before he modelled undies for Emporio Armani, before he dated a certain blonde pop singer and before he made so many squillions of dollars a year, Calvin Harris was but a relatively successful Scottish artist with a knack for crafting bright hooky dance tunes.
By 2007 he’d already released his debut album I Created Disco, but more interesting – and a forecast for the chart-topping collabs ahead of him – was Harris’ work on Kylie Minogue’s X album. Just try and resist In My Arms! It’s irrepressible and alive with a buzzing energy and Calvin Harris’ synth-fluence.
#15 Chromeo – ‘Fancy Footwork’
While Chromeo’s electronic contemporaries at the time were mining disco or distorted French sounds for inspiration, the Canadian twosome had been studying at the temple of plasticine electrofunk circa the mid ’80s – think Robert Palmer, Hall & Oates, Rockwell. Squiggly synth lines, liberal doses of talkbox and crisp drum machines typify their Fancy Footwork LP and its title track packs a groove so good it’ll have you mastering the two step, as per Chromeo’s request.
#14 Feist – ‘My Moon My Man’ (Boys Noize Remix)
In 2007 Boys Noize was your go-to producer to add some grit and heaviness to any remix. The German don applied that gift to commissions from the likes of Justice, Teenage Bad Girl and even Marilyn Manson in that year, as well as a fabled remix for Canada’s Feist with My Moon My Man. Boys Noize flips the original 180 degrees, taking fragments of the jaunty original and twisting them into the cold, cooing laments of a malfunctioning robot.
#13 Midnight Juggernauts – ‘Into The Galaxy’
It’s been ten years, but you wouldn’t believe how damn hyped we all were for the first full length album from Midnight Juggernauts. And when the Sydney trio dropped Into The Galaxy, it crystallised a particular moment in Australian music where live indie bands melded perfectly with electronic music. That sound didn’t stick around and Midnight Juggernauts went in a less accessible direction after this record, but damn it was good while it lasted.
#12 Klaxons – ‘Golden Skans’ (SebastiAn Remix)
Shit, you couldn’t make a list about 2007 without including some gear from Ed Banger star SebastiAn or UK boys Klaxons. Serendipitously, here’s a track with them both! The Frenchman adds his trademark chops and twists to Golden Skans, adding some formidable muscle to the new rave upstarts. Lol, new rave.
#11 Simian Mobile Disco – ‘Hustler’
If the 2007 version of you was looking for a middle ground between the occasionally quirky sensibilities of Hot Chip and the rounded production muscle of The Chemical Brothers, then you’d have been hard pressed to find a better offering than Simian Mobile Disco’s debut LP Attack Decay Sustain Release.
As well as giving us tasty singles like It’s The Beat and I Believe, the album yielded one of the UK duo’s defining tracks, Hustler. Built upon a skronky acid line, Hustler builds with quiet intensity for its first two and a half minutes before the SMD team drill their late night thumper all the way home.