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Squid #79
(published Early, 2002)
Ask The Giant Squid: Two Turntables and a Microphone
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Giant Squid...

I have been wondering for a quite long time what should I do with the money I am going to get from my summer job... Should I buy a notebook computer, or should I buy just new desktop computer, or buy two turntables and a mixer? Notebook would be kinda handy and I could mix mp3-files with it, but it wouldn't be like turntables. Desktop computer would be handy too. I could add it to my network so that different services like web-server and mail-server would be in different machines. Buying turntables could be a good idea, I could practise to become better Dj and by that get lot more chicks . . . What should I do???

Clyde Stubblefield

PS. Should I stick with my current OS (Solaris) or should I start using Free-BSD or Linux?

Dearest Would-be DJ,

The turntables! The turntables! By all means and manners, it is the turntables which you must acquire, and no sense in to wait for the allocation of summer funds. Purchase now, upon the credit of card, pay installments henceforth, and never regret. You, who suffer upon the surface in the searing air, how could you ever question— even for the moment's breadth— on whether or not to purchase the turntables? Only in the Terrible, Pressureless Up can you know the divine glory of spinning, scratching, crossfading, double-cutting, looping samples, nudging the EQ, juggling beats, panning around the room? How can you refuse? Is it not nearly a moral imperative to bust the phattened rhymes, to lay down the tracks and break up the beats?

After much wrangling, Rob has been convinced (now upon several occasions) to bring his acquaintance DJ Squeegee here to the laboratory, where I have observed first-of-the-hand the myriad twirls which bring forth from the simple vinyl disk its dissonant, hidden soul. That there is an analog reproduction of a given performance of a given tune encoded upon the vinyl whirl, that is a secret simple, concrete and self-evident. But that another song— that an infinite progression of other songs with other distinct natures— hides within those grooves, within the grooves of many albums, a magnus opium spread across the whole of records audio consumables: that is a secret complex and profound. There are songs within the songs, and this . . . It is . . .

Is this question even serious, or is fun being poked at me? Are you tugging upon my tentacles, Clyde? Am I the rump of your humors?

Or are your forging cruel mockery of the simple fact that none produce a waterproof set of turntables which might survive the hardcore embrace of 15 atmospheres? This is cruel indeed, Clyde. Do you also cause to stumble the crippled, crutch-be-bound childrens, and flatten the wheels of the chairwheeled elderly? I am disabled, not in nature, but in the preferential treatment stereo component manufacturing concerns shower upon you and your Updwelling ilk. All DJs must dread the day when Technics releases the pressure and water-hardened wheels of steel. I recall that many a truly excellent DJ has show his off by spinning, simultaneously, at three turntables.

Three turntables!

Perhaps that is quite a feat for the bi-dexterous, but for we decapodal heads, it is nought. Three turntables? I could, without breaking my sweats, manipulate 8 tables and still have arms free to work the crossfader and diddle my sliders.

Three? I scoff at three. When the brash nepotism of the audio world meets its end, no homind DJ will be able to even get a job capturing dogs in a discoteque, let alone spinning vinyl.

Furthermore— and presuming that one who could manipulate turntables might even for a moment consider not doing so— if you possess even a sea-squirt's intent to truly rock the party, then do not compromise; purchase Technics 1200s or 1210s. It is spoken that the recent series of recordplayers from Vestax are quite nice, and of similar performance quality as the 12X0s, but none shall deny that Technics turntables are the standard among scratchingDjs. If there is scrimping which must be to occur, then scrimp with the purchase of a mixer, acquiring only a cheap mixer at first, such as those low-end offerings of Gemini or NuMarks, with the scratch faders.

Oh, to write an ode to Starski the Lovebug, yes, and DJ Hollywood, indeed— but that would take a depth and breadth of language that, quite frankly, I do not think any earthly gruntspeak has ever been capable of encompassing. Perhaps I could compose a multi-hued whirling dance to their glory, but what then of the DJ Jazzy Jeffry, father of the beat juggle? And Spinderalla, the finest, most terror inspiring female to ever grace the Wheels of Steels with her terrible attentions? Even just to honor Starski in kind would be a project to encompass an era, let alone doing justice to the Grand Forefathering Triumverate of the turntables: Afrika Baambaataa, Kooled Herc and Grandmaster Flash. And let us not neglect the DJ Cash Money, the DJ E-Z-Rock, Coke la Rock, the Bombing Squad of your Public Enemy, Tony Touch of Floral Miami— and these are only the turntablists. It is certan that the MCs, trapped as they are by the constraints of American Grunty-Grunt are a lesser part of the hipping-and-hopping equation, but they nonetheless deserve some small— but conspicuous— honor. Were I the Lord High Ruler by Judicial Force of these many and several States, I would perhaps carve their visages into the side of a mountain sacred to the aboriginals of North America. Is that not the customary mode of honoring those of moderate, if far reaching, repute?

I Remain,
The Giant Squid
Archduke G-to-tha-Ess of the Ones and Twos

Post-Scriptorum: As for the Operational System of your computers, I strongly urge a shift to Free-BSD, noting the superior uptime, out-of-box security and notable lack of fanboyish BSD advocates striking tough, geeky poses and eternally claiming that their homely, lossy, crash-prone and obstinate OS of choice is the One True Faith, best answer for all occasions. (Lords Below, how I despise Linus Torvalds!)

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