albums of 2008 – what does it all mean?

a happy new year to all of you! i can’t believe it’s been already half a year since i’ve gotten this going, and i must say it’s been quite a ride. one of the challenges (apart from keeping up to the regular updates) was really writing about songs rather than about albums as i’m more used to. it’s forced me to take things as they are, and sometimes not be too serious about whether everything fits in a coherent whole, since songs sometimes work best just on their own. but i also did promise you i’d write about the albums i enjoyed in 2008, so i’ve set aside the first two weeks of this new year to looking at some of these albums (in no particular order, of course).


steinski – what does it all mean? 1983-2006 retrospective (illegal art)

i was so glad this finally came out. because of copyright issues, the works of steinski and double dee – pioneers in their own right in the emergent cut-and-paste ethic in hip hop sampling – were never officially released, except in limited promo releases. their influence, however, has been tremendous, heavily sampled by prince paul and de la soul (i must admit, though, the first time i heard the “what does it all mean” sample was in de la soul’s “the magic number”), and setting the framework for 90’s turntablists like dj shadow and cut chemist, who’ve both recorded tribute “lessons” in the vein of the “lessons” mixes steinski and double dee started off doing. more recently, cut-and-paste mavericks like the avalanches have pushed this envelop even further (take a listen to “frontier psychiatrist”, for example), while label-mate girl talk‘s mind-boggling mash-ups have definitely benefited from the duo’s initial groundwork. with the release of this long-overdue retrospective, proper recognition is finally given to the ones who started it all.

mp3: double dee & steinski – the payoff mix


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