Double Dee & Steinski – The Lessons [1985]

Lesson One – The Payoff Mix (Mastermix Of G.L.O.B.E. And Whiz Kid’s: “Play That Beat Mr. D.J.”)

Lesson Two – James Brown Mix

Lesson Three – History Of Hip Hop Mix

Cracking piece of classic turntabism mixing from Dee and Steinski, from their legendary EP, The Lessons 1,2 & 3. I’ll turn this over to Alain Patrick over at Discogs, his writeup is perfection! Enjoy!

From Alain Patrick, Discogs.com
At the closing of 1983, the crew from the American label Tommy Boy had the idea of sponsoring a mastermix dispute called ‘G.L.O.B.E. & Whiz Kid’s “Play That Beat Mr. DJ” Mix Context!’, whose idea was mainly to create new master mixes of “Play That Beat Mr DJ” with hooks and cuts of other tunes exactly the way Mr Shep Pettibone used to do in Kiss FM with his accurate technique, releasing whole exclusive versions. The reward offered by the label was pretty generous: Tommy Boy’s complete catalogue and official t-shirt, a hundred dollars, including the possibility or an airplay a special club distribution for the mega mix. The winner would be chosen between ten finalists by a very serious team of judges including Jellybean Benitez and Shep Pettibone himself. Though the hot track of the moment was Shannon’s “Let The Music Play”, the surprise didn’t come out from a DJ or a well-known artist, but by a duo of supreme cut & paste masters named Double Dee & Steinski, that boldly put together an incredible amount of quotes and samples, including Humphrey Bogart’s speeches, N.Y. administrator Fiorello LaGuardia, Yaz, Herbie Hancock, Culture Club, NYC Peech Boys, among others, announcing samplemania’s emergence in the Club culture. After the tape was played, all the judges applauded intensely.

Lesson 1 – Conceived in Doug De Franco’s studio during a little more than twelve hours, “Lesson One” is a melting pot of samples with a plethora of quotes. Let’s talk about some of them here. As we know, the main tune was meant to be “Play That Beat Mr. DJ”, from G.L.O.B.E. feat Whiz Kid, perfect for master mixing, cut & paste. The famous “You see!” vocal sample from Dave DMX’s “One For The Trouble” opens the megamix, sequenced by a regressive countdown from three to one, and just after comes another huge sample, which by the way resulted in the title of this lesson: “Now we come to the payoff!”
While the lyrics of the main tune begin with the funny debut sequence “Punk Rock, New Wave and Soul, Pop Music, Salsa and Rock & Roll”, other fragments goes in and out: “Br-Br-Br-Bronx!”, taken from Malcolm McLaren’s classic “Buffalo Gals” is succeeded by the main “Play That Beat” chorus and suddenly comes “Is the Joint!”, from Funky 4 + 1’s “That’s The Joint”.
The main tune comes back in the middle of other well-known passages like “Check This Out!” (used later by Bomb The Bass in “Megablast”) and, while the vocalist spells the main quote chorus “Play it for (…)”, there is a chain of samples after each quote chorus with a different quote paste: first, a wicked sequence with alternating scratches “for the Punk Rock”, then the famous Apachie percussion of 1973’s ‘Apachie Band – Apachie’ (made by those known as The Incredible Bongo Band) on “Playin’ for the Hip Hop”, the sudden question “Do you love the Supreme Team Show?” from Malcolm McLaren and The Worlds Famous Supreme Team on “Play it on the radio”, finishing with “Playing for the Globe: G.L.O.B.E.” (though these vocals belong to MC G.L.O.B.E, the chained samples were taken from all the mentioned tunes). The cut & paste madness continues with different types of scratches for “Play it in the playground”, “Play it on the street”, until the mentioning of the Whiz Kid name. “Just Play That Beat”!
A little after, the spoken chorus repetition “I’ll Thumble” from Culture Club’s “I’ll Thumble 4 Ya” is followed by another mad sequence of Elvis Presley samples, Lovebug Starsky’s “Starski Live At The Disco Fever”, and the sample “Played it for hurry, Play it for me…Play it…play it!”. When you think you got enough, there is suddenly the electro-funk classic by Herbie Hancock “Rock It” with its strings melodies in the middle of amazing fragments of Malcolm McLaren “Buffalo Gals” effects. The fantastic medley continues with another part of Globe & Whiz Kid’s quote, “Master Mix and those number on tunes”, followed by The Supremes emotional “Stop In The Name Of Love”, followed by the well known backing vocals saying “Everybody say one…one! Bless one time! Everybody say two (…)” mixed with “Good…Good” (from Chic’s “Good Times”) between the counting numbers.
The Lesson One Megamix goes then with the old school quote “New York is brand high!”, and the “Play That Beat” main track returns, continued by the most emotional moment of the master mix, a delicious mixture of a synthesizer sequence with Bernard Fowler’s accapella “Hey, feeling real good, baybe…yeah…so good, so good…’cause I can do it right…”, part of the NYC Peech Boys classic “Don’t Make Me Wait”, followed by the robotic vocoder “Planet Rock! Planet Rock! Planet Rock! Don’t, don’t stop!” (that evokes the legendary tune of Arthur Baker with Afrika Bambaata & The Soulsonic Force). The mix masters duo also didn’t forget to include the sample “It’s not a problem that I can’t fix…’cause I can do it…in the mix” from Indeep’s “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life”, and then another amazing one saying “Everybody’s dancing, and we’ve having a real good time!”…
After a quick comeback to the core tune with “Play That Beat! Why don’t you play it for me”, there is a sudden intense sound of a metallic Chinese bongo in the closing whose echoes are underlined by the historical comment from the New York administrator Fiorello LaGuardia: “And say it children: What does it all mean?” Extraordinary!

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2 Responses

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