The Drones, the inaugural winners of the Australian Music Prize in 2006, are back in contention for this year's event.

A long list of 25 finalists has been unveiled from the 200 entries received for the Amp 2006, which honors outstanding creativity by an Australian artist or act.

The Drones' new album "Gala Mill" (ATP Recordings/Shock) is among the nominated records. Their set "Wait Long by the River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By" (Infidelity/Shock) was the first winner, taking out the Amp 2005.

The Amp 2006 long-list will be narrowed down to a short-list of eight on Jan. 31, with the winner being decided by an industry panel on March 7. The winner receives $A25,000 ($19,557) from the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia, the principal backer of the event.

Other contenders for this year's prize include Augie March, Hilltop Hoods, Gerling, The Grates and Sarah Blasko.