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Steinski - What Does It All Mean?
1983-2006 Retrospective (IA116)
Steinski (advertising writer, DJ, and record collector Steve Stein)
produced his first record in 1983. In response to a nationwide remix
contest by Tommy Boy Records, he and partner Double Dee
(engineer and studio wizard Douglas DJ Franco) produced “The Payoff
Mix.” A panel of ten judges—including Afrika Bambaataa, Shep
Pettibone, Jellybean Benitez, and Arthur Baker—unanimously chose
the mix as the winner. Within two weeks “The Payoff Mix” became a Top
10 request on urban radio nationwide, but the release never saw official
status and was subsequently bootlegged countless times.
The Payoff Mix became the first record in a series now known as The
Lessons. Double Dee and Steinski followed up with cut-and-paste landmark
Lesson Two: The James Brown Mix, which Fatboy Slim called “the record
that always gets the crowd going.” Then came Lesson 3: The History of Hip
Hop. The series quickly became highly sought after collectibles and led to
homage records by DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, DJ Format, and others.
Since The Lessons, Steinski has produced a variety of tracks, and this
Illegal Art retrospective collects everything from his hip-hop narrative
about the Kennedy assassination (originally a white-label promo, also
issued as a Flexi-disk for UK music magazine NME) to the 1998 remix of
Afrika Bambaataa’s “Jazz” with Double Dee. Besides the completist
archive, the release will also includes the critically acclaimed “Nothing
To Fear: A Rough Mix,” an hour-long mashup that was produced for
Solid Steel/BBC London, described by Salon as, “the closest thing to a
masterpiece the genre has yet produced” and perhaps the most obvious
precursor (along with The Lessons) to Girl Talk’s Night Ripper.