Just a quickie from me today

Songs that are perfect. One of the red-flaggest formulations in music criticism is "Words cannot describe this." While we're all occasionally confronted with songs that stop language dead in its tracks, it seems fair to say that if you're getting paid to write about bands you like and want to be taken seriously, you might want to go ahead and give it a shot. While, as a critic, it would be poor form for me to say a song is "perfect" without plenty of supporting evidence (and probably not even then), when I blog I'm writing as a fan , and damn, it feels good to be able to make fanboyish, outrageous, unsupported claims without shoring them up a million ways from Tuesday. That's why I'm not going to take the time to try and locate the perfection of Life Without Buildings's "The Leanover" at some nexus of its exuberant word collage and soap-bubble guitar clouds; I'm not going to dwell upon exactly what makes the vocals on Antony and the Johnsons's "Hope There's Someone" seem to enter the body through the spinal cord rather than the ear canal; I'm not going speculate on how the perfect "ba-ba-ba-bas" at the end of The Lucksmiths's "The Music Next Door" retroactively idealize the rest of the song. I'm going to shove them into your hands with a quivering, almost frantic gaze, and say, "Dude, you gotta check this out." If you've never heard these, congratulations: One of them is your new favorite song.

People often describe DJ Premier's signature style as The Brooklyn Sound.

The sound of the Brooklyn I live in, is an imperious rattle; the sound of 12 Maclaren Rally Twin tires bearing down across bluestone. It's the sound of corduroy upon corduroy as boyish lesbians shuffle past.

The sound of Premo's Brooklyn is fortunately a whole lot grittier. It's one of contending layered beats, muffled bass, loops slipping and scratching, jazz piano filtered to echo and ping like it was canned in a submarine. Premier doesn't build his samples around a single, dominant riff. He approaches his productions like a junkyard sculptor, stripping his source material down for parts, cutting and chopping and reassembling the sounds, harnessing them into halting, hustling Frankensteins. And if cooking is more your metaphor, then DJ Premier is Hip-Hop's Iron Chef. All challengers start with the same ingredients, but his platters just come out tastier.

"Red Alert Chant"

This promo for 98.7 KISS FM, where DJ Red Alert held court for a decade or so, is textbook Premier.

"Think Not"

For more on Al' Tariq (formerly Fashion of The Beatnuts) and "Think Not" check out The Broke BBoys who posted it last month:

This cut can be found on the Crooklyn Cuts mixtape (Tape A I think).

"Drive By (Rollin Slow Remix)"

I posted the song "Deeper" by the terrifying lady-gangsta Boss sometime last year.

For ths remix Premier brings together LL Cool J, some humpty-hump and The Six Million Dollar Man. Speaking of which, Boss, aka Lichelle Laws, steps back into the arena with The Six Million Dollar Mixtape.

Here is a great piece on Lichelle in the Metro Times.

In her years away from the rap game, Laws has raised a son and battled diabetes. In dusting off the old alter-ego, perhaps she seeks a return to an innocent and less complicated time... a time of murder and paranoid despair.

"A Word to the Conscious"

London's Cookie Crew try their hand at conscious rap. You know its conscious rap cuz the appeals to togetherness are warmed-over, the rhymes don't rhyme, and the word "conscious" is in the songs title.

From a Pound Magazine interview, Premier on Biggie:

"Biggie opened up for us when we did a show at Virginia State: It was me and Jeru the Damaja, Pete Rock. And we woke up early that morning to knock on Biggie's room to see if he's gonna follow us back to New York. And I knock on his door, and he opens the door buck-naked in his boxer drawers with a bucket of chicken. And Jeru says, "Yo, you need to stop eatin' all of that meat, man. You need to go vegetarian." Big was like, "Yo, my name is Biggie, not Barkim." Barkim is like a God name for people who don't eat flesh and stuff like that. So it's funny to see Big there topless, big ol' titties hanging out, and no shame."

For you aspiring DJs: a must read article from Remix on Premier's studio techniques.