- Released: September 13, 1994
- Originally Released: 1994
- Label: Warner Bros / WEA
Rolling Stone - 12/15/94, p.964 Stars
- Excellent "...draws on hip-hop, spoken word, dance hall, Manhattan's avant-garde scene, Ken Nordine and straight jazz without being any one of them or even a hyphenated combination..."
Entertainment Weekly - 9/16/94, p.121
"...Elegantly spare, dramatic and danceable, New York's Soul Coughing has brewed up the most affecting rock-funk fusion since Talking Heads..." - Rating: A
Village Voice (2/28/95) - Ranked #37
in the Village Voice's 1994 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
- 1.Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago
- 2.Sugar Free Jazz
- 3.Casiotone Nation
- 4.Blue-Eyed Devil
- 5.Bus To Beelzebub
- 6.True Dreams Of Wichita
- 7.Screenwriter's Blues
- 8.Moon Sammy
- 9.Supra Genius
- 10.City Of Motors
- 11.Uh, Zoom Zip
- 12.Down To This
- 13.Mr. Bitterness
Soul Coughing: M. Doughty (vocals, electric guitar); Sebastian Steinberg (acoustic bass, background vocals); Yuval Gabay (drums, background vocals); M'ark De Gli Antoni (samples, background vocals).
Additional personnel: Rachel Benbow Murdy (vocals).
Engineers: Tchad Blake, James McLean.
Recorded at Sunset Sound Factory, Hollywood, California between April and June 1994.
Personnel: M. Doughty (vocals, guitar, electric guitar); Mark De Gli Antoni (keyboards, sampler, background vocals); Sebastian Steinberg (upright bass, background vocals); Yuval Gabay (drums, background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Tchad Blake.
Recording information: Cosmo, East Hollywood, CA (04/1994-06/1994); Sunset Sound Factory, East Hollywood (04/1994-06/1994).
Illustrator: Steve Wacksman.
Photographer: Anthony Artiaga.
Unknown Contributor Role: Rachel Benbow Hurdy.
The debut album by this brainy groove collective tests the boundaries of what pop music can be. Soul Coughing burst onto the scene with an eclectic hybrid of heavy, in-the-pocket drumming, fat, slinky basslines, guitars that lend accents and wiry phrases, keyboards, loops sampling everything from seagulls to Raymond Scott, and--through it all--associative, poetic lyrics sung or rapped in the distinctive, nerdy whine of frontman M. Doughty. In this music, jazz meets hip-hop, sonic collage meets pop accessibility, and surrealist imagery is filtered through hard jams.
From "Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago?" to "Uh, Zoom, Zip," Soul Coughing mix it up with loose, kinetic energy and a keen sense of experimentation. Among the album's highlights (and there are many) are "Bus To Beelzebub," a demonically psychedelic song that seems to careen out of control, the beautiful, ghostly "True Dreams of Witchita," and the drifting narrative of L.A. life in "Screenwriter Blues." This band achieves a synthesis that is quite rare: that of artistic inventiveness and danceability, and RUBY VROOM is Soul Coughing's finest effort.