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03.30.21 Q1 //ofthe__Well 03.26.21 Black Midi ranked
03.14.21 Sputnik User Pokédex: OFFICIAL 02.28.21 [IMPORT2NT] Colton or CoQton?
02.11.21 END OF THE ROAD (well #2222) 01.25.21 [IMPORTANT] Colton unmasked
01.09.21 INDIE census (register now) 12.30.20 _well2020 TOP 100 (2/2)
12.29.20 _well2020 B-tier (1/2)12.28.20 Rec me electro-industrial
12.02.20 FINISHED_well top100: 2000r. / 30k disa 11.14.20 C o n f e s s i o n booth ft. SowingSea
10.12.20 road to 2000_wells 10.11.20 SPUT ROYALE: FINAL (RESULTS!)
10.04.20 SPUT ROYALE: FINAL (CLOSED !) 09.29.20 SPUT ROYALE: Round 6 (Semi Final)
09.27.20 SPUT ROYALE: Round 5 (Quarter Final)09.27.20 SPUT ROYALE: Round 4 Part B (Eliminatio
More »

[IMPORT2NT] Colton or CoQton?

A lot of this is confidential and can be considered a leak.
Amperland, NY

[17-1] Fast to the end: I'm on the run from now, in more ways than I can be sure of. Not literally on the run, mind; things are (mostly) okay in the real world, at least outside the four walls of my apartment. Online and/or in the less-real world is a different story - my next moves from here are going to be furtive and it may be some time until I have a chance to write again. Things may not be as crazy as they were last time around, but they've taken a turn for the worse all the same. There are so many questions and so little time: where is Colton, what is driving him, who is behind CoQton, how strong is a hedgehog, and why metaphysic_? I'll explain while I can, listen in
2Limited Express (has gone?)
perfect ME

[9-2] We are over the worst, but something is dropping. There is always a twist in the tail. One Colton only was too much to pray for.

[10-1] My first time behind the scenes of Staff and Contrib applications has been less dramatic than I expected. Until now.

It’s tricky to provide background for those expectations in full detail, and I’m not sure it’s really worth it but we’ll go there anyway. Let’s start with the whole shebang. For those yet to visit, the staffland is a sparser realm than you'd imagine; it's like the inside of a huge gothic cathedral-space, with large pockets of gloom, roof so high that it cannot be seen through its hemorrhaging underdarkness, and no entrance because no-one really knows how they got there. There is always a draft.

The space is lined with two opposite-facing statues of composers of figures such as Chopin, Proust and Victoria Legrand scaled up at factors of approx 1.13, but most of these are missing so it's basically a long room with no windows, hundreds of empty plinths and an invisible ceiling. The primary light source is a pair of vertically-mounted fluoro strips that burn at all hours next to a set of doors way down at the back, which lead to the inner chamber. These never open except when the mods come out to take a leak, and this virtually never happens because those boys have iron bladders and a good attitude to dirty laundry.

Those of us on shift (i.e. everyone on current staff who has published anything in the last year) sit towards the sides of the hall, working on desks facing the wall. We all burn candles, but those closest to the fluorodoors have a clear leg up. Sometimes we talk to each other, but most of the time we just get on with the stuff and all is well; it’s literally limbo but y’can’t complain because the atmosphere is a real one and there’s a vague sense of exaltation going on.

What I'm trying to flesh out here is that it's the kinda space where you feel simultaneously grateful and shy of all other company. Human connections are not to be taken for granted and are hard to build, for reasons primarily of your own responsibility (I literally shat myself the first time I tried to talk to robertsona). The thought of initiating anyone new into that environment is a responsibility (who would suit it/cope with it/flourish in it?) and an excitement (whose presence here would throw a coal on the fire/who could I validate myself by pretending to mentor to the extent that I could pretend I could pin my future success on theirs/who really needs a redemption arc), and so on.

The beginning of the season was sound enough.
4Seiko Oomori

[1-2] Quick recap for anyone who missed the previous parts:

Colton is an unsettling user whose argument-lite persona and paper-thin music taste often seem unlikely to amount to the kind of real person who would invest as much time and energy in either Sputnik or music generally as he has. Past posts have concluded that:

He either is, or is pretending to be, the dead account MusicReviewer44 (among others)
He either is, or is closely associated, with the Contributor neekafat, potentially also a Buzzfeed reporter
He is likely Canadian, but his exact whereabouts are unknown thanks to serial VPN abuse. He may not even be Canadian.
He has a dog. Classic Canada. The Dog is canadian.
Colton’s presence on my radar has had a dark and often uncanny impact, which has put indirect strain with my relationship with Staff member Rowna5215.


I went up a great mountain today. I followed a winding trail through a forest of tall trees.
6Salamander Blues


verführen = to seduce
interessante = interesting
freeter = freelancer
You don’t need to help me = I am deeply unhappy
同音異義語 = homonym
7Lana Del Rey
Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass

[9-3] My friend Carl is the second person who has ever initiated a conversation about John Zorn with me in real life.

[11-1] The Casual Conversation is a Sputnikmusic institution, begun by the great user JustJoe.. Like many similar classics, the premise is gloriously simple: an anything-goes chat forum, not distasteful or glib, but a lighthearted candid accessible to pretty much anyone who cares to chip in.

The Casual Conversation is hosted by a different user every month, whereafter it is deleted by either that user or the mod team so that the full attention of the contributing demographic can be inclined towards the next month’s thread. This is the reason. The Sputnik servers can definitely process 2000+ comments on one list (just you try it)

I highly recommend it. It has spawned many great exchanges and one of the best Sput-satellite Discord servers. But there’s a catch.


In every tree there is still a snake.
The Missing

[10-2] The first run of Contrib applications were easy enough to sift through, mostly entirely cogent with what I knew about the applicants in question (for mostly entirely good reasons). It’s strange dealing with the paperwork; it just kinda appears on our desks at inconvenient moments and disappears at convenient ones, soon after we’ve filled in the appraisal forms and a couple of archivals. That’s the internet for you.

So far so good, but you know where this is going. Up comes a new app, a surprise. I thought we had finished with all the predictable names. I skim the top line. My breath catches.

“Username: Colton // Account link:”

Oh God.

I glance through the application. Reviews, written by Colton. Not bad, not bad. Pretty solid in fact, in style and content alike. But not in presence - you know the story. I skim the application out of fear. There are many questions to answer: why do you want to reply/how do you most need to improve as a writer/what are your genres of choice/how would you improve the site, and so on.

There is one answer, copied and pasted with pulse-pinching accuracy.

*I am still looking for*

Not even a finished sentence; that one fragment copied across 7ish distinct question points. The air in the staff chamber freezes a couple of extra degrees and I feel old books start to furl themselves open once more.
11Glass Candy
Love Love Love

[9-4] Carl is perfect in a lot of ways that would be irritating if anyone else wore them. He is like two years older than me. He is Canadian. He has nice hair. He has written a novel. He speaks really good Japanese and has an awesome marriage with a bants lady who complements his best qualities. His karaoke game is good but his voice does not intimidate me. Good chap [first impression].
Oishii Pasta ga Aru to Kiite

[12-1] MEMO, as received from Rowan. identical to the copy also received by me but poorly organised and unread on my desk:

WARNING all staff members! Sputnik user “Colton” has been compromised by an alternative account (aka alt) by name of “CoIton” (cOiTON [caps inverted). Said alt account contains the majority of his most ratings and all of his best qualities. These will all be deleted from the site immediately, but be on the alert from foul play. We may have a bad actor or two in our midst.

Be on the lookout for other aliases.

Associated IP addresses: [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], confirmed match with user *****n

For reference:

Koi No Yokan


For every snake there is a serpentcatcher.
14Peter Gabriel

[10-3] I grab Colton’s app and head across the staffhall floor to Rowan’s desk, determined to ask him discreetly what his thoughts on literally the most suspicious application made by a Sputnik user since the Babymetalgate denier gang restarted public lobbying for the first time in years. Rowan knows the history. Read parts [3-2], [3-6] and [3-8] for a precise breakdown of how much history Rowan knows. I mumble through a paranoid list of reservations regarding Colton and the sus subtext of Colton and the application for the role of Contributor made by Colton, and Rowan curtly but clemently cuts me off before asking if I read the memo. I cut off and what-memo? him; he passes me the memo [12-1] and I sulk. Rowan is closer to the inner sanctum than me; I can actually read the memo without singeing the edges. What a shame - I thought there was a story here.

“Yeah, well, sometimes you wanna eat an apple but that doesn’t mean you’ll find one if you go to the park. Kids play there, man. This isn’t Community.”

Thank you, Rowan. You always know exactly what to say. I sulk harder and head back to my deskcandle. For one unknowingly beautiful moment, I thought it was over.
15Crystal Tea
Pink Movie

[12-2] MEMO: editor’s notes

ed. i: this is the exact state in which Rowan (and probs me) received the memo; no redactions on my part

ed. ii: since this site is generally non-serif (i.e. the capital i and lower-case L appear almost identical in standard formatting), I’ll henceforth take a nudge from 1Q84 and refer to CoIton as CoQton for the sake of clarity

ed. iii: Alts are like cockroaches; for every one you see, there are eight in hiding
16Aoki Takamasa
Indigo Rose

[14-1] Colton is back on Discord now. Maybe he never left, or went invisible and I just overlooked him last time around (could have sworn he left). I ask him if he is looking for anything and he makes a bad joke about chicken nuggets. Not a hungry personality then, at least.

[13-2] As of July 2018, Buzzfeed and BuzzfeedNews have separate domains and, for all intents and purposes, different sub-brands. Neither venture is taken particularly seriously by the world at large, but BuzzfeedNews at least runs itself as a serious journalistic site and pushes its staff towards quality standards. This is a stark contrast to the NewsPad side of Sputnik, for which Colton has contributed a suspicious total of 0 (zero) articles. Rowan has 60 (hot). Neekafat has eighteen (18). YakNips has one.
18Everything But the Girl

[9-5] Carl knows how much I pay for rent. He has recently watched the first two episodes of og Evangelion for the first time.
19Yo La Tengo

[13-3] A family friend of mine actually works as a journalist for BuzzfeedNews. At that time unaware of the distinction between the Buzzfeed-Buzzfeed and BuzzfeedNews, I was a little taken aback when she told me this, but her following story about fieldwork with refugees in (I think) Jordan was enough to make me respect her platform quicksharp.

BuzzfeedNews was essentially founded by ex-Politico writer Ben Smith, whose prior record is patchy, and it has since been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
20Spangle Call Lilli Line

[13-4] I stress all of this because I got in touch with neek to iron out a few details, and he confirmed that his friend from [3-2] whose involvement kickstarted the whole Buzzfeed loophole-conspiracy was in fact working for BuzzfeedNews.

[11-2] This month (February 2021)’s Casual Conversation is hosted by Pangea and is animal-themed. Each user is assigned an animal. I was somewhat late to the party this time around, but my assigned animal is a koi fish/Japanese carp. Remember that the Casual Conversation thread is deleted at the end of each month; this may be critical.

Here is the wikipedia page for the koi fish (pay special attention to Taxomony):
22Wakusei Abnormal
Watashiha Ikaride Dekiteiru


Becoming a serpentcatcher is complex. The process takes as long as long as it takes, sometimes a brief span and sometimes many years according to the talent of the trainee. It requires dedicated immersion with a special tool.

This tool, a coiled spiral snake that’s usually about 1/4-inch thick with a handle on one end, works the opposite way that a plunger does: You push the snake into the clog and crank it to drive the snake farther into the obstruction. While parts of the bark crack and flush down the river, the snake helps you gain access to the clog so that you can pull it out.

Some snakes can fit as an attachment on an elemental staff, giving it more power to force it through the clog. Snakes are especially handy because they’re long enough to reach clogs that are deep within the fork of a branch.
That's Entertainment


愛(あい (ai))= Love
愛情(あいじょう (aijyou))= Love
恋愛(れんあい (renai))= Love
鯉(こい (koi))= Carp//koi
恋(こい (koi))= Love

There is no letter ‘c’ or ‘k’ in Japanese. Therefore, in any description, all Cs are Ks and all Ks are Cs.

All CoQtons are KoQtons are KOItons.
Amplifier Worship

[13-6] Boris’ 13th or so album, Dronevil ~Final~ is a double mix of drone and drone metal tracks intended to be heard in parallel with each other. Similarly to Rosetta’s debut, Neurosis’ Times of Grace and Grace albums, and the Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka, it was released so that each half has to be manually layered over the other by the listener to get the full experience.

I used Logic Pro to make a unique mix of Dronevil ~Final~, panning the drone and metal tracks very slightly left and right to allow some optional differentiation, and giving the drone a slight boost so it could keep up with Wata’s distortion pedals.

I shoutboxed this mix to porcupinetheater a few days ago, but made public my intention to do so in case anyone else felt like pilfering his shoutbox. Boris are Colton’s favourite metal band.
25Carly Rae Jepsen

[10-4] On the way back, I hear a catwhistle from a usually derelict corner of the staffchamber; Jots is standing there, beckoning me over. I am surprised; we don’t see him around here so much, usually only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I don’t know where he goes for the other days of the cyberweek, but it does wonders from his skin tone - dude looks like a peach. He is not one to fritter comments. Today is a Friday. Conversation:

“Hi mane”

“Mr. Jones.”

“You on the clock rn?”

“Well, you know how it is…”

“Fair. Still got your marbles?”

“Clutching ‘em. Just about.”

“Good to hear. Look, I’ll get to the point/”

“/...the point.../”

“/what’s that in your inventory?”

“In my inven- uh, couple of spare sharks in case some alt cockroach jumps me? A burnt shark I forgot to discard after I fucked up cooking the sharks (lemme do that right now, sorry)?”

“Na. Two slots up.”

“You mean - wtf you can see that!? - uh, I was discussing this app with Rowna. Y’know, the one made by the fake Colton? Say, uh, what do you think abou/”

“/Not important. Look, word from the wise [ he didn’t actually say that*], some battles aren’t worth fighting. You know that, right?”

“Uhuh. Yeah. Yeah, I do.”

“Knew it. So, what’s all this?”

“I just want the facts. I need them. I think the people deserve to know this - but every clue I find leads to another eight, and now this…”

“Sounds fraught. Wish I could help you.”

“...can you?”

“Nah. But I’ll tell you one thing.”


“Don’t be afraid to look for answers where you’d least expect them. Some things are too absurd for the smart team to understand. Never underestimate a dreamer. Or a computer tbh.”


“...and that’s my ride. Cya in the whenever - and tell Sowing I won’t make it in on Tuesday. Some punk in my neighbourhood has been trapping hedgehogs in fishing nets and leaving them on my doorstep. Gonna put a stop to it, but it might take some time.”

“Will do - thanks, and good lu/”

Jots hops onto Pegasus and bursts through the ceiling, and I am alone with my thoughts once more.
26Snake Fetus
Fake Sunset


Traditionally, serpentcatchers are represented as hedgehogs, in such a way whereby the hedgehog, having positioned itself in a provocative time and place, merely sits still and resists the onslaught of the snake. The implication is that a poorly conceived attack on a feisty hedgehog will invariably backfire in a spiny prickle. This design is still used on coiled spiral snakes across Japan and New Zealand.

[14-2] People mainly want to be a Contributor so that their work can be recognised and their platform expanded - but applying to be Contributor and wanting to be a Contributor are not the same thing.

Just wanting certain people in the Staff office to take note of your presence would be a sufficient motivation to apply for Contributor. Especially if you were doing so under a fraudulent account. My blood hits the Arctic.
28Do Make Say Think
Other Truths

[11-3] Thinking about CoQton

CoIton - coiton - coit - coitus?! (no!!!) - sex - love - OH fuck! - coiton - koiton - koi - love. KOI. fucking KOI. Koi-no-Yokan- koi? Colton of koi? No...who else could be koi?

Then Pangea’s choice of animal comes flooding back and it all gets a little bit too real.
Return of 13 Hedgehogs (MxBx Singles 2000 - 2009)


Hedgehogs are complex.
Live I

[15-1] This is all going nowhere. I think of Jots’ words. I think of the questions.
Live II

The questions:

Who created CoQton? Why? How much do they know about Colton? Are they the same person, or are they another sleuth, trying to call someone’s bluff? Fuck me, are they after me, trying to call my bluff?
Why is Colton himself so passive in this scenario? He’s at the center of so many threads, but seems hell-bent on pulling none of them. There must be something more.
KOI/COI/COQ - what does this mean here? Is it a code?
Hisou (Pathétique)

[15-3] It is time for some fresh inspiration, from an unlikely place. I make up my mind. I go to Computer Club.

You could probably write a novella on what makes a Japanese middle school Computer Club such a simultaneously remarkable and unremarkable thing. As a brief summary, it’s as nerdy as you’d imagine and normally attended by no more than 20 students. Japanese school clubs are unanimously intense and comprise a huge amount of the lives of attending students, and club practice hours are usually strict. Computer Club is a slight exception to this; sometimes its members get fixated, but they loaf around much more than members of other clubs and are comparatively easy to talk to on good days. This is still a little inconsistent, so I spend little time there on the whole. Those kids know things sometimes.
The Time Is Nigh


I walk in surreptitiously. Everyone sees me because they are all facing the entrance door. Many kids, many glasses, many laptops. Many boys, but by some miracle a couple of first-year girls too (I think this may be a first in some time, but I’m too sheepish to ask the supervising teachers if it’s the case).

I check in with my favourites: this lil kid Masayuki who’s making an animated battle sequence between Raichu and a real-life hedgehog as a 30-step animation on Microsoft fucking Powerpoint (epic), and this girl Midoriko, whose interest in computers I honestly don’t understand in the slightest, but whose English is at least pretty good. I say hi and she breathes loudly through her nostrils. Yikes, not today then.

The club president is sitting at the back, and I can tell that he’s out of sorts today because he’s concentrating extra hard on pretending to practice typing, but hasn’t opened the opportune software and is kinda spamming random characters into what appears to be a mangled semblance of an email. His name is Taro. Hi Taro. Eh. I get his attention for a moment by means of a magic hand gesture and ask the question:

“What. do. you. know. about. 「koi-ton」?”
34The Antlers
Burst Apart

[11-4] Colton’s animal in the Casual Conversation thread is the markhor. It has horns and is elusive. It is categorised as a Near-Threatened species. How could Pangea have possibly known this? I’m missing something here - there’s something I haven’t considered properly.
A Death Never To Be Complete


A lot of communication errors ensued and I won’t transcribe them all here. Let’s just say that Taro must have been very fucking bored indeed, because he went to great pains for me. Here is what he found.


koi = Love // koi-fish (as outlined)
ton = Morse code DOT // East Wind tile in Mahjong

Extensive deepdive through multiple search engines and aggregate denominators through arcane and possibly inaccurate methods reveal the following:
70 outdated vanilla milkshake coupons
A picture of a chalet in Vermont
Horns. Curves.
A morse sequence. Many SHIs and TONs. It translates: [I am still looking]
A mix of an untraceable audio waveform in six files, each entitled DRNVL followed by a number


[9-6] Carl is the first person I have ever met who has instigated a conversation about Boris with me in real life.

He needs me to know that he is a fan.
The Destruction of Small Ideas


As the Eva gang know, it is no easy business being a hedgehog. In the provocative time and place, they are heroes, untouchable warrior-gods worthy of admiration and diverse iconography. Outside of this place - who are they? No-one you want to be close to, that’s for sure.
38Bubblegum Octopus

[11-5] People in the Casual Conversation chat originally tried to make me a clam, but I shrugged this off. Clams are mute and associated with horniness (google this). If I had been a clam, none of this would have come to pass. Anyone could have seen that chat, but no-one spoke out. Keep your friends closer, and your enemies...
39Yuki Kajiura
Kara no Kyoukai: Mujun Rasen

[9-7] it was an accident I swear it I didn’t mean to, i was gonna be late for work and there was a traffic jam and i was on my bike - this open-back silver truck with a big ass was in the road, so i try to go round and i skim the rubber fender v lightly for an inch or so with my rubber handlebar, and the guy lights up his horn like a christmas siren and bellows at me so i slink back and he winds down his window. maybe he’s 56, maybe he’s older - but he’s talking faster than i can understand, and all the words to reply or apologise or disappear and i clam up and nod and he sees that i can’t understand but he keeps talking and look at his eyes but i see through him and into the cockpit of his car. there are many things inside, discarded plastic wrappers of crisps and old receipts that i can tell at once glance smell of cigarette smoke and there are cds, dark covers, all ladies clutching dark guitars to their darkly-clad bodies, all the same all the same lady, all- wait

the man catches me looking, and now he’s angrier than i could explain but CARL of all people is there in a twice, and he tries to explain but it’s too late. wham, CARL is down. there is 2m of rubber fender emerging from his throat and i clutch him and shake him and weep and try to tell him it’ll be okay while tactfully asking him to divulge whether or not he is COLTON or COQTON with his last breath, but he shudders and it is over and his hair is pointing perfectly outwards like the spines of a

the halftruck pulls away and i hear the opening chords of a drone song we all know too well. i look at the number plate: BO-RI-SU. i forget my bike and run after it, trying to hop on the back of the moving vehicle, leaping and stretching but i am too slow; my nails catch and break on the back of the car, and i hit the road face down. PAIN. a lone koi fish is left in the man’s wake. i sigh. he has a car and knows my face now. Carl must have been close too. he paid the price. i will have to lay low. there is a flash of white wings across the broken sky and i know that someone, at least, has witnessed this. who knows what will be discussed in the staff halls tonight.
Digitalized Human Nature


Part 3: Colton x gyro_mania
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