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Ruby Vroom by Soul Coughing
Released: Sep 1994
Label: London Records
For a hot minute in the late '90s, Soul Coughing was quite an underground phenomenon, and this is the album that started it all. Seamlessly and artfully combining sample-strewn sound collage, electro-tweaked jazz and thrumming acid funk with M. Doughty's garrulous pop poetics, Ruby Vroom (named after Suzanne Vega's daughter with musician Mitchell Froom) is intellectual brain candy at its best. If there was ever a direct legacy from 1950s Beat jazz abstraction to the present, it's songs like "Casiotone Nation" and "Moon Sammy," impressionistic ditties both inspiring and frustrating in their far-flung imagery and avant-pop groove.
Jonathan Zwickel