June 4, 2008

Original Pirated Material [Steinski]

"Okay children, what does it all mean?"

How did a white, Jewish ad agency professional single-handedly change the face of hip-hop? In 1982, Steve Stein, working for advertising firm Doyle Dane Bernbach, began experimenting and later formulating sample-based hip-hop along with partner in crime Douglas Di Franco, a sound engineer who did commercial work. Ultimately, using magnetic tape and razor blades, the two individuals, better and affectionately known as Double Dee And Steinski, created the landmark "Lesson 1 (the Payoff Mix)", a song entirely composed of samples. Apart from being a dope hip-hop song, the composition laid the groundwork for Steinki's subsequent mixes, which would be lessons in pop culture as much as killer party songs. Even after over two decades, Steinski's sound collages sound as fresh as ever, and have left an indelible impact on hip-hop and sample-based artists such as DJ Shadow, the Avalanches, Coldcut and De La Soul.

Unfortunately, as you probably guessed, it is completely unprofitable and downright unfeasible to try to clear the infinite amount of samples Steinski used in his songs, relegating "Lesson 1" and Steinski's subsequent works to clubs and bootleg recordings from radio broadcasts. Until now.

Illegal Art, home of another popular sample-based artist, Girl Talk, has done the improbable and released What Does It All Mean?, a compilation containing all of Steinski's released material. My advice: get it before the RIAA wakes up and realizes what the hell just happened.

Here's the original "Lesson 1 (Payoff Mix)":

Steinski and Double Dee - Lesson 1 (the Payoff Mix) [What Does It All Mean? LP, 2008]

A few of the numerous samples used in "Lesson 1" include Diana Ross's "Stop in the Name of Love", Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, Herbie Hancock's "Rockit", Culture Club's "I'll Tumble for Ya", Funky 4+1 "That's the Joint"and Incredible Bongo Band's "Apache".

In addition, for your listening pleasure check out "Voicemail (Sugar Hill Suite)", another sample-laden piece from Steinski that will get your body all in a quiver.

Steinski - Voicemail (Sugar Hill Suite) [What Does It All Mean? LP, 2008]

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