Rounding off the year as always Ministry bring us their latest edition of The Annual, a two disc retrospective of everything that has been making people shake their arses on the dance floors over the course of the year. Looking at the track listing the usual suspects raise their heads with tracks like Fedde Le Grand (which I hated but which eventually managed to crawl under my skin) followed by the Bob Sinclar’s frankly torturous butchering of Everybody Dance Now. Keeping up the distinctive commercial tip David Guetta’s recut of The Egg’s Walking Away is another obvious contender (although I can’t help but find it criminal that Tocadisco rarely gets a mention for their original overhaul of the track which is predominantly what this track contains).
Oakenfold actually wakes up for his contribution to Sex ‘n’ Money his collaboration with Pharrell Williams but its still little to write home about while the Eric Prydz / Pink Floyd mix up is messy but proof that a good track can still get by even in a lesser incarnation. If anything this edit works a little better than its longer counterparts. Thankfully Mason’s stormer Exceeder turns up to land like a bomb with its speaker tearing synth lines adding some weight to proceedings. Patt by Sharam follows all loaded up with filters and a cheesy vocal loop that is probably alright for those pilled up moments but outside those moments it manages to lose any impetus the mix was building. Roger Sanchez’s Lost however is a bit more like it with its jumpy and slightly clattery Ramirez mix. An abrasive little number but one that find favour in these quarters.
The horn driven Calabria by Enur is present in its Hoxton Whores remixed form and moves along in a pleasantly old school kind of way. While it is followed by Fireflies I Can’t Get Enough which is frankly not something I wanted to hear again especially in a mix that already has more than a couple of tepid moments. Eric Prydz returns to smooth out Switch’s A Bit Patchy which gives the track a little bit of legroom and makes it just a little less potentially annoying. Towards the end of the mix on disc one things start to lighten up with the acoustic tinged Ibiza Ma Amor by Phillipe B that starts levelling things out a little. Keeping that slightly old school flavour Rip Groove by Double 99 gets yet another workout while Mark’s Night The Reason would have been better without the tedious vocal, shame really because apart from that it makes a fairly likable track. Mind Electric’s electro styled remix of Dirty Cash (Money Talks) samples the old Stevie B track while there’s a nice closer in the form of Dirty South Vs Evermore’s Its Too Late (Ride On) that blends a light touch of house and light pop.
The second disc kicks off with resident pop/dance cheese merchants Beatfreakz (exploiting little people everywhere) and their somewhat pointless reworking of Superfreak. While maintaining the commercial head of steam with the guilty pleasure of Voodoo Child by Rogue Traders (nice Elvis Costello sample). Basement Jaxx’s Hush Boy brings a touch of slick funk professionalism to the mix but it doesn’t rank as one of their best moments. Alas the second disc ambles downhill from here with the likes of Freemasons providing the sort of anonymous vocal led pop/dance that doesn’t do the genre any favours at the moment. In fairness Seamus Haji’s Big Love Mix of Boogie2Nite lifts it vaguely above the original but not by much. DYOT by Dab Hands has a sexy enough bassline to allow the mix to break its head above the water for a while Supafly’s Moving Too Fast suggests that anyone who uses a melody from a bad Phil Collins track metaphorically deserves a good kicking. Ten tracks in and Armand Van Helden’s MyMyMy might be getting old now but it still represents one of the high points of the disc (and what does that tell you) while straight after we discover the world doesn’t need another rerub of Crystal Waters Gypsy Woman. Hoxton Whores turn up again on and make a nice job of Firefox’s Sex Shooter while the closing tracks Rush Hour and Living On Video head straight to Scooter territory marking a form that is at best enough to make you want to kill yourself.
The Annual 2007 provides the odd track that pleases but on the whole this compilation sucks harder than your mother’s Dyson. A coasting effort from a label that alas should (and used to) do a whole lot better. The sugary commercial flavouring of this little lot is enough to make your teeth hurt. So despite the odd little raised smile and hip wiggle all I can say is…avoid.