• Published 17th Jan 2017
  • 1,210 Views, 84 Comments

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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6. Retrospective

From Bandoneon Times & Music Express, 5 October, 1015 issue:

The 100 Best Albums of the ’00s

… chaos in beauty (and vice versa), and their anarchic rock embodies this perfectly. —Blueprint Dance

13. DJ PON-3: The Scratch Files
Vinyl Scratch’s debut LP was a slap in the face of the entire electronic music scene; naturally enough, the industry slapped back. Small-minded critics gave it middling reviews, and Canterlot Records dropped her, citing mediocre sales. But Vinyl had the last laugh: now you can’t go to a dance club or turn on a radio without hearing a dozen new songs awkwardly copying some effect or gimmick that The Scratch Files had already perfected.

But historical interest (as a portent of music to come, and as a waypoint in Vinyl’s journey to cult electronic stardom) isn’t enough to earn a rank this high. No, aside from all that, The Scratch Files is a roller coaster ride that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let you go until the room stops spinning. Reportedly, Vinyl fought with her producer, Auto Tune, over every detail of this album (and that’s why she self-produced every album since), but as iron sharpens iron, their clashes brought out the best in each other. Vinyl Scratch would never again sound this accessible, and none of Auto Tune’s other production credits from the decade sound this timeless. Under their tempestuous guidance, even the major-label-mandated silliness (a wubby cover of a Beat Hoofs deep cut, a guest appearance by Sapphire Shores, a song about the Grand Galloping Gala, etc.) transcends its banal roots and approaches the sublime.

In any case, this is a hell of a lot better than DJ PON-3’s most recent albums. —Spilt Ink

12. Demilitarized Dairy Dwelling: In the Airship over the Ocean
(In)famous for Magnum’s anguished cry of, “I loooooove you, Celestiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” …

Author's Note:

This is possibly the most self-indulgent thing I've ever written.

If you'd like to see even more self-indulgence, here is a blog post with my research notes.

Comments ( 28 )

Demilitarized Dairy Dwelling: In the Airship over the Ocean

I see what you did there.

I needed the annotations to properly appreciate more than half of the references (and to even realize some were references,) but I still greatly enjoyed this. Plus, it pointed me at the prequel, which was also a great read. Thank you for this. 9.7/10 It wasn't bad. :raritywink:

Bugger, forgot to track.

Artists are complicated. On both sides of the pen.

Self-indulgency (which should be a word if it isn't) cab be quite a pleasant read, like in this case.

Nice work and nice conclusion.

Thank you all.

7884565 I'm tickled pink that the drummer on that album went on to form a Balkan-inspired folk band.

7884586 Honestly, the references are just a music version of the technobabble from every SF movie ever. Hipsterbabble.

(and to even realize some were references,)

I think that means those references were the ones I wrote best.

7884914 No, no, no, Spilt Ink is a simple pony (a simple pony with complex tastes). It's just that the masses are too dense to appreciate him.

7884924 Now I'm thinking of "Insecurities", which got an RCL feature—and which the author outright called "Blatant self-insertion and gratuitous wish fulfillment."

7896185 It's not so much that artists don't get anything out of someone appreciating their work. It's more that while that appreciation can motivate the artist, it's unlikely to inspire her. So you're left giving them what support you can, which is almost always going to be in the form of patronage, and hope they can come up with something more that speaks to you just as much.

Anyway, I wasn't commenting on the chapter's content so much as riffing on the adoration of this DJ PON-3 group your fictional critic is enamored with.


7914327 Oohhh me like very muchly.

Also can I just say Luna's "letter" was the singularly most hilariously unexpected thing I've ever had the pleaseure of being smacked out from left field with? It's glorious. XD


That would be really weird as they are still wanted on copyright infringment charges for most of the last album.

As self-indulgent as this is, I really liked this story. I only wish that you managed to pull this off without having to use that scene at the club, but really, that is just nitpicking.

7916045 You’re the second person to comment that this would have been stronger if I had kept it completely epistolary. (The other was the EQD pre-reader.) I'm not sure if my own thoughts are a real defense of the club scene, or just my being defensive.

7916730 I like the scene itself, and I think it is really important for the story, but it does break immersion quite a bit.

I came here from Chris's review, and I wasn't disappointed. This was all fantastic. Not being a frequent reader of music reviews, this captured the tone of what it's parodying perfectly for me. I really got an impression of this scene which I otherwise have nothing to do with, and that's a feat in itself. Moreover, I think I really learned something about music and reviewing culture, and had fun doing it. It's a good fic. Thanks for writing it.

7938163 Glad you liked it! I do love stories that use a limited perspective to evoke impressions of a larger world, so I'm glad I was able to accomplish that here.

Author Interviewer

ah, shoot, I thought there was one more D: 12 years later, and he's reduced to writing best-ofs, and not even the whole list!

7972093 Eh, he's still writing long-form reviews, too. From my understanding, when music review zines like Pitchfork do a "best of" list, they make the list out of the broad consensus of all their reviewers, then divide the individual album writeups among everyone.

7978811 Quite...

Looking forward to a sequel. Hoping there'll be something decent on the way. Of course, Brad Bird shall return in his second Mode.

7979039 Wonderfully wordy and reasonable. Well written.

7981095 The first one took Brad Bird about ten years to write and polish the script. The fact that it's taken so long to make the sequel gives me hope that it will be similarly high-quality.

I unreservedly recommend this to everybody with two brain cells to rub together.

oo boy I get to read the research notes.

You've somehow escaped a single downvote so far. And you deserve to.

8143785 Thank you for the kind words.

Thought the misattributed Lincoln quote was "you can fool all people some of the time, and some people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time." I also got the Jagger, but wasn't sure if the resultant layered concoction was its own thing or what.
whoops. Didn't put two and two twogether.

if only I could have directions to "more like this" :pleb:…


"you can fool all people some of the time, and some people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time."

Ah! I thought I'd heard it worded that way before, but couldn't remember where. So I went with the Bob Marley / Peter Tosh wording (from the song "Get Up, Stand Up").

The Crystal Method: Vegas sounds a lot like that song. You may also like The Prodigy: Music for the Jilted Generation, The Chemical Brothers: Come with Us, Orbital: The Middle of Nowhere, or Andy Hunter: Life.

This entire fic was worth it just for that last joke.

Well this was a trip and a half. But what a wonderful, wonderful trip it was. Haven't seen such dense prose since the last time I dared a look at Pitchfork.

And everyone has probably already said this, but that last joke was perfect. :rainbowlaugh:

Glad you liked it. This one was immense fun to write.

Thanks for the clarification.

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