Viki (Animal Disguise)

Viki has always been a true Detroit eccentric, operating well beyond genre -- a point this 15-track collection of rarities and outtakes drives home. Viki's gargantuan beats, bee-buzzing distortion, cheap sci-fi sound effects, and reverb-soaked sauciness should be the toast of underground dance music; in fact, the electro-freaks in Adult, who are fellow Michiganders, love her. But the lo-fi white noise coursing through jammers like "Dancing With the Dogs" and "Stone Bone" has proved to be too boombox for the club kids, who generally don't groove to music that's not rendered in digital high fidelity.

This makes America's suburban-bred, experimental-noise scene Viki's audience by default -- even if she's just a marginal character. Manipulating hot-wired electronics and antiquated analog doodads (not unlike Wolf Eyes), she drops distortion bombs that would make William Bennett proud. But unlike Bennett and the majority of his post-industrial flock, Viki hasn't divorced herself from black urban music. Raw, funky throwdowns like "This Is What It Sounds Like" and "I Am the Man" exhibit a finely tuned sense of rhythm that taps old-school hip-hop (Schoolly D, MC Shan). So who knows where the enigmatic Viki fits in?

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