Soul Coughing Biography

Formed in New York City, this experimental US rock band comprised M. Doughty aka Mike Doughty (10 June 1970, Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA; guitar/vocals), composer Mark De Gli Antoni (b. 20 June 1962, San Francisco, California, USA; keyboards/samples), Sebastian Steinberg (b. 20 February 1959, New York City, New York, USA; double bass) and Yuval Gabay (b. Israel; drums). Their origins could be traced back to 1992 when Doughty was working on the door at the New York avant garde jazz club the Knitting Factory. There he gradually recruited the band’s members from the club’s clientele, and together they set out on a path of ‘shared musical adventure’. Their 1994 debut Ruby Vroom received universal critical acclaim, and preceded their first major touring commitments. It was in the live arena that the band was best observed; in performance they regularly adopted and adapted the jazz predilection for extended improvisation.

The recording of 1996’s Irresistible Bliss was fraught with difficulties, but the album proved to be another successful marriage of hip-hop beats, mechanical noise and expansive musicianship, with each of the 12 songs thematically linked to day-to-day life in New York. Produced by Tony Bennett associate David Kahne and Steve Fisk, it was recorded in the same sessions that saw the band complete compositions for the Blue In The Face and X-Files film soundtracks. The band’s third set, El Oso (1998), proved to be their most successful fusion of lo-fi experimentalism and straight-ahead rock, with a notable drum ‘n’ bass flavour to several tracks. Growing creative differences led to the band’s break-up in March 2000, with Doughty launching a solo career and De Gli Antoni concentrating on soundtrack work.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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