From the Studio: Pop Collage, pre-Girl Talk

We had Matthew Perpetua on the show today to help us out with an assisted listen to the new Girl Talk record, Feed The Animals, which cycles through close to 300 samples in its 53 minutes. It's a ride through the last 40 years of pop history, though one that - as Matthew pointed out - seems very of this particular moment.

But Girl Talk is hardly the first artist to use pop music as fodder for collage. As soon as we started playing clips from Feed The Animals in the studio, our engineer Manoli Wetherell turned around and said, "Hey, this sounds like Steinski!"


Manoli has the answer:

When Jacob came into the control room with clips for the interview on the new Girl Talk album, I couldn't believe how very very much like Steinski the whole thing felt. So much that one of the clips sounded like pure Steinski to me, like it was just lifted straight out of one of his mixes, Jazz.

In case you don't know, Steinski and his mixing partner Double Dee have been around since the early 80s. In 1983 they won the Tommy Boy Records contest to re-mix "Play that Beat, Mr. DJ".

So, from all of the mixes submitted the judges must have been a bit surprised that the winners were two white guys, one in his late twenties and the other in his early thirties, older than the average hip-hop listener. That mix, Lesson One — The Payoff Mix, and the ones that followed were very influential. I like the way they build and grow as they are tell a musical story. The clips Steinski uses are from all over — old TV spots, hip hop, jazz, Mario Savio, blues, gospel, Fiorello La Guardia, old vinyl from I don't know when or where. I love listening to Steinski, I always hear something new. I love his mix "Jazz", it always puts me in a good mood. Or at least a better mood! It can be a bit of a hunt to find his stuff but well well worth it!

Steinski has a webpage — where you can download some of his old shows on WFMU.

Thanks, Manoli. And yes, like Girl Talk's music, Steinski's is based largely around un-cleared samples from copyrighted material. So it's technically illegal to sell. But here's a sample from Lesson 3 (The History Of Hip-Hop) to start off your hunt.





Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

steinski's retrospective was released on the same label as girl talk, Illegal Art

Sent by anitl | 11:02 PM | 6-23-2008