Finally I’m back with another root through my old tape boxes, and racks of vinyl in search of a few long lost classics. This week its a Steve Stein aka Steinski Special.

The influence of Steinski can be seen throughout the last 20 years of music, from De La Soul and Coldcut, right up to more recent artists like The Avalanches and DJ Shadow. When Stein and his friend Double Dee entered a contest to remix “Play That Beat, Mr. D.J.” by G.L.O.B.E. and Whiz Kid in 1983, little did they know they would A: win and B: the resulting record “Lesson 1 – The Payoff mix” would still be talked about in hallowed tones some 24 years later!

What makes Steinski’s work stand out from the plethora of sample based musicians that followed him is the sheer breadth of music, speech, and humour he manages to cram into his records. Groucho Marx sits happily alongside James Brown, early Hip-Hop, Blondie and Hernando’s Hideaway.

It wasn’t until 1987 that Steinski actually officially released anything, making use of his day job in advertising to get around copyright issues, he created a “cut and paste” record without any actual samples. Everything on “We’ll Be Right Back” was recorded specially, and in some cases dirtied up to sound more genuine. It drove anoraks and train spotters mad trying to figure where he’d got those samples from!

Recently he set up his own site/blog posting everything from political comment, vaudeville comedy, and best of all some new mixes. There are two mixes available, both of which are brilliant, and to get them all you have to do is email Steinski himself at infoATsteinski.com (change the AT to @) and he’ll send you a link. He does actually write back, so its worth just dropping him a line anyway.

I’m going to post one of the mixes “Live from the Basement 7.2” so grab it while you can, and mail Steve for the other one. Everyone makes mixes these days but not everyone creates a horse race that doubles as a satire on marital relations just to kick it off. Pure genius as always. Stonking Tina Turner cuts, a big band version of the “900 Number”, and the Jungle Brothers, its everything you expect from Stein, i.e.: the totally unexpected!

Steinski – Live from the Basement 7.2” (MP3) – Recommended!!!
[audio:http://www.musiclikedirt.com/wp-content/MP3/Steel/LIVE%20FROM%20THE%20BASEMENT%207.2.mp3]

Read: 1986 Village Voice article on Steinski

BOB’S MEDIA ECOLOGY

In 1992 Steinski & Coldcut both produced remixes for a Producers For Bob album, featuring the post-modern religion “Church of the sub genius“. Led by the pipe smoking Bob Dobbs (who may have died in 1984), the church is centred on the idea of slackness, i.e. freedom, independence, and original thinking. Not surprisingly its humorous take on religion coupled with motto’s like “Fuck ‘Em If They Can’t Take A Joke” makes the Sub genius’s very popular with students especially.

The MP3 featured is Steinski’s Main mix of “Everything’s Disappeared“, but its well worth tracking down the Ninjatune 12” or the album for more mixes by Coldcut & Negitivland, not to mention the thoughts of Bob himself.

“You know how dumb the average person is? Well, by definition, half of ’em are even dumber than THAT.”

Producers For Bob – “Everything’s Disappeared (Steinski’s Main mix)” (MP3)
[audio:http://www.musiclikedirt.com/wp-content/MP3/Steel/02%20Everything’s%20Disappeared%20(Steinski’s%20Main%20Mix).mp3]

Church of The Sub Genius : Website / Wiki

SOLID STEEL ARCHIVE

My first dip into my crusty old collection of Solid Steel’s seemed to go down well, so here’s another featuring Steinski from early 1992 (I think).
Steve talks about music being his hobby, how he made Motorcade and We’ll Be right back, and he also plays a couple of live jams from “The Worlds Greatest Soul Dance” parties he used to throw in New York. There’s a rough mix of the original Gulf War satire “Its Up To You” that was eventually released on Ninjatune, and a Coldcut / Steinski studio jam called “Television“.

Coldcut – Solid Steel 15 (Steinski Special ’92)” (MP3) (1hr 25min) – sorry the audio quality is terrible!
[audio:http://www.musiclikedirt.com/wp-content/MP3/Steel/SoildSteel15.mp3]

Steinski – It’s Up To You (Ruff mix)” (MP3)

[audio:http://www.musiclikedirt.com/wp-content/MP3/Steel/It’s%20Up%20To%20You%20(Ruff%20mix).mp3]

Coldcut & Steinski – Television” (MP3) – including Matt Black forgetting to turn the fader up at the start
[audio:http://www.musiclikedirt.com/wp-content/MP3/Steel/Television%20(Jam).mp3]
The Mass Media Orchestra – Live” (MP3)
[audio:http://www.musiclikedirt.com/wp-content/MP3/Steel/The%20Mass%20Media%20Orchestra.mp3]

Steinski’s Blog for more mixes, MP3’s and goodness.
Solid Steel is still going strong: Podcast here