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Ruby Vroom was one of the great debut albums of the '90s. It was an invigorating, refreshing blend of relentlessly funky beats and downtown beatnik hipster and jazz sensibilities that came around when grunge was the order of the day. Despite the hip-hop/funk heroics of the rhythm section (Sebastian Steinberg on upright bass and Yuval Gabay on drums), M. Doughty's funky white-boy pose came less from hip-hop than the rhythms and cadences of the performance poetry scene. He can be introspective and yearning, as in "True Dreams of Wichita" or "Janine," and has a feel for cinematic description, but more often delivers with the sly wink of a real smart ass. Also, his performance-poetry background means his phrasing and timing are impeccable. Doughty's guitar playing is quite spare, but careful listening will reveal more buried in the mix. The secret weapon of the band, and what really sets them apart is the keyboard/sampler playing of Mark de Gli Antoni. He not only set the bar for sampler players in the pop world, but in the decade since Ruby Vroom was released, no one has even come close to his mixture of inventiveness and musicality.