Since I can't adequately cover everything I'd like to in this space, I'm introducing the first It's a Hit speed-round edition: a line or two (or slightly more), done up in bullet points disguised as paragraphs. Fasten your seat belts, here we go.
These New Puritans' "Navigate, Navigate" (Domino) is over 15 minutes long. It needn't be. The B-side remix by the DFA's Tim Goldsworthy is closing in on 12 minutes long. It needn't be, either. On the other hand, DJ Donna Summer's "Sweet Assed Child o' Mine" (Cock Rock Disco MP3) is a shamelessly exciting big-pop laptop hijack, a kiddie-disco record struggling to get out from under everyone's favorite power ballad—and, in the funniest dance-record climax in a while, finally does. Speaking of getting over, or under, not only is Hercules and Love Affair's "Blind (Frankie Knuckles Remix)" (DFA) grade-A disco redux, its crushed-velvet gloss gives Antony his plummiest and most convincing sonic backdrop yet.
Stewart Walker's "The Stiff Materialist" (Orac) is sweet screen-saver techno for fritzing databases. Speaking of which, even if you're over "minimal" it's hard not to find yourself craving the sneaky, beautifully layered neon-on-black noises of Dop's "Merci" (Orac), which incidentally makes better percussive use of found sound than most of its competition. Further goodies for clicky-poppy 4/4 eccentrics: Guy Noir's Flex EP (Resopal Schallware), whose constant textural shifts and rhythm pinpricks sometimes push into pure abstraction (with a beat, of course), and Rodriguez Jr.'s "Rubbo Swingo"/"Soledad" (Leena), whose bottom ends the A-side's title describes perfectly.
Erykah Badu's "The Cell" (Universal Motown) is the most brilliant moment from the most brilliant album of the year so far, with a glassy synth and busy drumming that recall prime Stevie Wonder and a lyric as tough (and good) as anything on Super Fly. Janet Jackson's "Feedback" (Virgin) is her first real ear worm of a single since "Together Again" a decade ago, a positive first step even if she'll never be as convincing a robot as she was on Rhythm Nation. Raheem DeVaughn's "Customer" (Jive) is why R&B metaphor (he'll take your order, you fine lady you; "satisfaction is guaranteed"; sugar and honey delivered to your door; etc.) will never die, and why alien chimes tied to finger-snap percussion deserves to live on for as long as they make good headphones.