6. Viktor Vaughn - Vaudeville Villain (2003)
Listening to Vaudeville Villain,the first release from DOOM's nocturnal counterpart Viktor Vaughn, during the day can feel creepy. Ultimately it's an album for the night, about the night, deploying a fog of droning electronic frequencies and critter-like beat skitters. As Vaughn travels through cop-killer New York, DOOM coaxes augmented and suspended chords from his string samples, which recall stalking and pursuit music from noir and sci-fi movies. We see Vaughn (a play on Viktor Von Doom, Dr. Doom's real name) intercept cop radio in Queens, flee after killing a policeman, and resurface menacingly in a restaurant in Chinatown. Vaudeville Villain conjures darkly technical, scientific imagery, with DOOM trading in his cape and cocaine for a "biohazard suit" and "some type of aspirin, anbesol medicine,"
As grave as the album gets, Viktor still "bring[s] the beef like a trucker to Fuddrucker," allowing himself a lot of lowball jokes about New York minorities and even a tender, regretful ballad in the form of "Let Me Watch." The sound bounces lushly, but the concept remains airtight.