The album I've played most this year is the new Steinski comp What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective, by which I mean I've played it about 16 times since acquiring it yesterday. Speaking as a guy who's held DJ Shadow's Endtroducing... in his pantheon for the last nine years, I have no doubts that, in this case at least, ground zero represents the apotheosis of mixing and sampling; it really wouldn't get better than what Steve Stein and Douglas DiFranco accomplished on "The Payoff Mix," "Lesson 3 (History of Hip-Hop)," and "It's Up To You (Television Mix)." Humor (bawdy and subtle), rhythm, flow, and beats – imagine Flavor-Flav and Chuck D in one aorta spewing the detritus of pop and political culture of the last 40 years. Finally, as someone with no use for Camelot, I couldn't believe I was more moved by the JFK assassination sound collage than the 9-11 one. Credit the way Stein and DiFranco scratch Walter Cronkite saying "time" at a key moment.