Legendary hiphop collage producer Steinski announces Illegal Art career retrospective – What Does It All Mean?: 1983-2006.
Steve Stein is one of the most influential producers in hiphop, sampling, and cut & paste. Better known by his nom-de-tune Steinski, his legendary Tommy Boy Records releases known as “The Lessons” are cited as definitive influences by DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist and Fatboy Slim, among others. This spring, Illegal Art will release the first and only definitive Steinski collection, What Does It All Mean?: 1983-2006 Retrospective.
The comprehensive 2xCD set features 14 retrospective tracks on disc one, and the 28-track “Nothing To Fear” on disc two. The second disc (along with “The Lessons”) is perhaps the most obvious precursor to Girl Talk’s Night Ripper and was described by Salon as “The closest thing to a masterpiece the mashup genre has yet produced.” The packaging includes a 20-page booklet featuring liner notes by Hua Hsu (The Wire, New York Times, Village Voice, Slate, etc.) and Steinski himself.
Steinski, along with partner Double Dee (Douglas DiFranco) co-produced the series of records known as “The Lessons,” “The Payoff Mix” (MP3), “Lesson 2 (The James Brown Mix)”, and “Lesson 3 (The History Of Hiphop)” for the Tommy Boy label in the early 1980’s. The first lesson won a nationwide remix contest run by Tommy Boy Records and judged by Afrika Bambaataa, Shep Pettibone, Jellybean Benitez and Arthur Baker. The record subsequently became a Top 10 request on urban radio nationwide. These analog tape cut-and-paste collages, still widely bootlegged (and wildly illegal), are generally acknowledged as three of the most influential works in the world of hiphop and dance music production.
Steve Stein has freelanced as a creative consultant to MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Lifetime, Showtime, and The Movie Channel. He’s produced TV commercials. He’s spent all his disposable income on records and women. As a solo producer, he crafted “The Motorcade Sped On,” turning historic broadcasts of the Kennedy assassination into a hiphop record. The British tastemaker music tabloid NME gave away a quarter-million copies of the song as a Flexidisc stapled to the cover of the magazine.
Steinski also produced “We’ll Be Right Back” for Island Records, an advertising satire whose music and video components were immediately licensed by Ovaltine UK for television advertising . His solo productions for Ninjatune include “It’s Up To You” and “I’m Wild About That Thing,” a satire on sex licensed to Pretty Polly Bras (UK) for a TV advertising campaign. For Tommy Boy’s 10th Anniversary, Steinski reunited with Double Dee after 10 years to produce “Jazz,” a remix of “Jazzy Sensation” by Afrika Bambaataa and The Jazzy Five. This remix was also illegal, also widely bootlegged.
A two-time college dropout (Temple U, Franconia College), Stein worked as an advertising copywriter for six years, with clients like Polaroid, Volkswagen, and Atari. He taught copywriting at The School Of Visual Arts, promoted and DJ’ed dances in Brooklyn, and hung out at early downtown Manhattan hiphop clubs Negril and the Roxy. Soon thereafter, he quit advertising.
Other Steinski highlights include:
* Numerous 12” remixes and collages.
* Remix of “Relax” (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) for the film Zoolander.
* Burning Out Of Control, an album length mix of the Sugarhill Records catalogue for the Antidote label (UK)
* 12” collage “Ain’t No Thing” for the Stone’s Throw release of The Third Unheard: Connecticut Hip Hop 1979-1983 compilation.
* Composed and produced dozens of soundtracks for various TV and radio commercials and industrial films.
* Featured in the documentary film Scratch.
What Does It All Mean?
1983-2006 Retrospective Tracklisting:
Release Date: May 27th, 2008
CD 1 (Retrospective):
01. The Payoff Mix (MP3)
02. Lesson 2 (James Brown Mix)
03. Lesson 3 (History of Hip Hop)
05. Voice Mail (Sugar Hill Suite)
06. The Motorcade Sped On
07. It’s Up To You (Television Mix)
08. I’m Wild About That Thing
09. The Big Man Laughs
10. Vox Apostolica
11. Is We Going Under?
12, Ain’t No Thing
13. Everything’s Disappeared
14. Number Three On Flight Eleven
CD 2 (Nothing To Fear):
01. Tonight From NY Intro
03. Opening Credits
04. Greatest Man Alive
05. The Id
06. Let’s Get It On
07. Hit The Disco
09. Hot Spot
10. It’s A Funky Thing Pt. 1
11. Bboy Breakdown
12. B-beat Classic
13. Funk Construction
14. Them That’s Not
15. Swan Lake
16. Here We Come
17. Product Of The Environment
18. By Any Means Necessary
19. The Art Of Getting Jumped
20. I Like It Like That
21. Solid Air
22. Country Grammar
23. Let’s Get It On (Reprise)
25. Easin’ In
26. It’s Time To Testify
27. The Acid Test
28. Silent Partner