• 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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4. Watching the Detectives

From The Canterlot Vidalia (“Keeping journalists honest since 987”), 6 March, 1003 issue:

The Week in Music

By Rip Fork

Artist: DJ PON-3
Album: My Height in Squirrels

Critic: Spilt Ink
Publication: Sound on Sound, March 2, 1003

How many times has Spilt Ink graced this column again? Certainly this will provide more fodder for astute readers to accuse me of being personally obsessed with him, an accusation I can’t completely deny. But in my defense, I’m not as obsessed with him as he is with DJ PON-3. Prior to reading Spilt Ink, I didn’t think it was possible for anypony to be this obsessed with anything. But more on that later.

Where to begin? Not at the beginning, of course, where Spilt Ink wastes four hundred words rambling about the history of house music. He name-drops eighteen other musicians, with asides about the play Mane and his favorite gazpacho recipe, before even mentioning the actual topic of the review.

But once he does, the claws come out! “Her latest and worst batch of electronic flailings,” he writes. “Twelve aural atrocities, each more horrifying than the last … an assault on intelligence, taste, and civilization itself … Why hasn’t she been arrested yet?” Wow. Are we reviewing a music album or a war crime? Credit where it’s due: I’m impressed at Spilt Ink’s restraint in not using the phrase “literally worse than King Sombra,” even though he was clearly thinking it.

And when Spilt Ink isn’t hyperbolizing, he’s obfuscating. To wit: he calls one song “pizzamoshbro garbage,” as if those combinations of letters mean anything outside his own brain. “Soulless Draftwerk worship”—here’s an idea, Mr. Ink: try to describe the music with words, not references to fifty other artists and genres. Ponies actually pay you for your words, so don’t you dare tell me that’s too much to ask. “A fleeting poignancy ground to dust under the digital hoof of this monolithic temptress”—in my nightmares of the future, I see a paragraph of prose like that, stamping on an equine face … forever.

But if one lets that impenetrable writing scare them away, then they’ll miss the most revealing moment at the very end of the review: “I’ve listened to this album dozens of times, and every time, some brand new flaw jumps out at me, and I finish even more offended and disappointed than before.” You know, most ponies, when confronted with an album that distresses them so much, stop listening to it. And don’t tell me that you had to do it for your job, Mr. Ink—I only had to read your review three times to write this column, so there’s no reason a professional like you would need more exposure. Besides, there’s no point in suffering for your art if the result is witticisms like “pizzamoshbro garbage.”

Look, Mr. Ink, I understand DJ PON-3’s fans have been giving you grief over your reviews, and that must be very frustrating. If it makes you feel any better, I don’t care at all about her. Never even listened to any of her albums. So you know that I’m being honest and impartial when I tell you that your review just sucks. Because it really does.