• Published 17th Jan 2017
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A Survey of the Work of Vinyl Scratch (Abbreviated) - Meta Four



“Make no mistake: DJ PON-3 is the most important dance musician—and perhaps the most important musician—working today. But first, let me tell you about my childhood …”

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2. Fall

From Sound on Sound, 2 August, 1000 issue:

DJ PON-3
The Scratch Files

Label: Canterlot Records
Release date: 08/07/00

By Spilt Ink (staff writer)

The instruments need to work together to make a proper groove, not compete to be heard like this.

“So, Mr. Ink, how are you doing?”

“Life has no meaning anymore. My existence is a trudge through neck-deep sewage, to a destination that burned down years ago.”

“Ah, the sewage is only neck-deep, now. A big improvement!”

“Doc, will I ever be able to love again?”

“That is entirely up to you. After all, I’m just a figment of your imagination. But if you’re to get better, we must confront the source of your pain. We must talk about … The Scratch Files.”

—————

Dear Princess Luna,

Thank you for raising and lowering the moon every night. It’s so much better than that dumb sun.

I hear that you walk the realm of slumber to defend ponykind against their own bad dreams. Well, then, welcome to my nightmare: Last month, in the wake of DJ PON-3 releasing “Gillosophy” to promote her upcoming album (and yes, I know now that DJ PON-3 is just Vinyl Scratch’s stage name; you can all stop writing me angry letters about that) fear arose that this heralded some kind of bid for mainstream acceptance.

And then that’s exactly what happened! On tracks like “GGGrand GGGalloping GGGala,” “Purple Sun,” and “The Birb is the Worb,” she abandons her single-minded pursuit of dubtrot fury to make limp-wristed passes at trance, disco, and even ska. Rutting ska! Isn’t that kind of cultural appropriation illegal? It should be.

And regardless of legality, it’s just rotten to leave all the dancers and true fans in the lurch like that. Really, is this how you repay a guy who gave such a glowing recommendation for your debut EP—by putting out an album that barely even sounds like it? That hurts even more than the restraining order.

Your faithful music critic,
Spilt Ink

dear inky,

lol synthesizers

try listenin to real music u scrub

ur welcome 4 th moon

XOXOXO
best princess

—————

“Now, this is a simple ink-blot test. I’m going to hold up a card, and I want you to say the very first thing that comes to mind. Understood?”

I nod.

He holds up a perfect visual representation of “Space Feather” by DJ PON-3.

“A promising opening, all synthesizer arpeggios tumbling down glowing marble blocks of bass, that takes a sudden left turn into tough-guy-bravado electric guitars and a rhythm section sludgier than concrete, but slightly less interesting to listen to. Even the turntable gymnastics in the final third can’t rescue the track from mediocrity.”

He looks at me skeptically. “Really? All of that popped into your head, fully formed?”

“Shouldn’t you already know? Since you’re a figment of my imagination and all.”

He shrugs and jots down a few notes, then holds up a perfect visual representation of “Ruby Tree”.

“There will come a day when the strength of equines will fail, when ponies will forsake that which they hold most dear. Sister will abandon sister. Parents will eat their own children. There will come a day when the bell will toll one last time, to bring down the final curtain on our civilization.”

I pause for a second, then add, “This is that day.”

—————

Items recovered from Spilt Ink’s apartment, Exhibit F: twenty-three (23) index cards, each bearing text that matches Mr. Ink’s writing. The cards are in no discernible order.

The text on card one is as follows:

Day 65—Still no end in sight. This song just goes on and on. The liner notes are filthy lies. 7 minutes, 28 seconds, my ass. It seems the undulating Sauerkrautrock rhythm of “Marantha” will haunt me to my dying day.

NOTHING IS HAPPENING! WHY IS THIS SONG SO LONG? WHAT COULD POSSIBLY JUSTIFY

The text on card two is as follows:

Day 212—

All wibble wobble and no oomph makes Spilt Ink a dull colt. All wibble wobble and no oomph makes Spilt Ink a dull colt. All wibble wobble and no oomph makes Spilt Ink a dull colt. All wibble wobble and no oomph makes Spilt Ink a dull colt. All wibble wobble and no oomph makes

THEY’RE IN THE WALLS

I CAN HEAR THEM

The text on card three is as follows:

Which brings me to “Fleep Street” and “303 Madsnacks Yo.” They sound just like the tunes from the Electroconcerto EP. Too much, in fact. What was a bracing lungful of fresh air just a few months ago, now sounds far more calculated: a crass attempt to placate her established fanbase, to say she still cares about them. One suspects she’s trying to convince herself just as much as she’s trying to convince us.

Well, it’s not working, Sweet Cheeks! Your declarations of undying love don’t mean jack after the third or fourth time I catch you “making beautiful music” with some hot-flank floozy genre! Yes, I’m kicking you out! Or was throwing all your things out the window and changing the locks too subtle, you stupid

—————

Spilt Ink’s stage play idea (DO NOT STEAL):

Star Power plays the role of Daring Do the Third in a thrilling sci-fi adventure. A thousand years in the future, the cybernetic archeologist-adventurer desperately searches the ruins that had once been Equestria’s capital. She rappels into the former archives of Canterlot Records, only to find her arch-nemesis Ahuizotl has already beaten her to the prize.

“Ah, Daring Do! So nice of you to drop in. Please, have a seat.” He sits down in a plush armchair himself, and turns on the laser phonograph at his side.

Daring approaches, warily, and says, “What’s your game, Ahuizotl?”

“Would you believe me if I told you I have none, this time? Well, whether or not you believe, it’s the truth. No apocalypse, no grand scheme to conquer the world—I even gave my robot minions some vacation time. I’m just feeling a bit nostalgic at the moment.”

He gestures towards the turntable and continues, “I made that album, you know. Recorded it a thousand years ago with some pony named DJ PON-3. What do you think?”

“You want my honest opinion?” Daring furrows her brow as she listens to the rest of the song. “It sounds as half-assed as all your attempts to take over the world.”

“I thought you liked ancient music from dead civilizations.”

“Yes, I like music! But this is some kind of prefabricated music product. It’s okay for listening to, if you don’t listen too closely, but you can’t dance to it unless your soul is dead.”

“But, but, what about that funky bass on ‘Gnaratab’? The wacka-chicka-wacka-chicka on ‘Purple Sun’?”

“Masturbatory nonsense. The instruments need to work together to make a proper groove, not compete to be heard like this. Trust me, if you’re dancing at the club, making your move on some hot mare or stallion, and then the DJ plays the bass solo from ‘Gnaratab,’ you’re not going to admire the technical skill on display. You’re going to curse the bassist for mucking up your rhythm.”

Daring snorts and steps closer to continue her tirade. “Really, I’m half expecting you to tell me that this album was somehow responsible for the collapse of Canterlot, and now you’re going to unleash it on the world again, unless—”

Ahuizotl pulls a lever. A trapdoor opens beneath Daring Do, dropping her into a pit full of cyborg alligators.


Staff rating: 5.5