Peter Kruder, Roland Appel & Christian Prommer
For one reason or another, supergroups, of any musical hue, generally get a bad press. Considered a fairly risible idea - a meeting place for all manner of overblown and nonsensical self-indulgence - rare are the couplings whose work is seen as a fitting accompaniment to the talents who fashioned it.
To hear them tell it, Voom Voom came into being for a variety of reasons: To show off our newest equipment, jokes one member; We were three lonesome souls with no friends that had the same interest in experimental dining, says another, his tongue wedged firmly in his cheek somewhere; We were always talking about ways of producing certain sounds and most of all we enjoyed each other's company, suggests the third.
The real reason, in all likelihood, is a combination of all three. No matter, whatever gave them the impetus to start Voom Voom, we, the listening public, are truly grateful. Don't believe us? Just give Peng Peng one spin and we dare you to think otherwise. Shorn of all pretension and po-faced purism - one thing the trio can agree on is that Voom Voom is an attempt at freeing the music from rules and guidelines - this is intelligent electronic body music that demands dancefloor attention, as much as it craves abstract contemplation.
Global masters of their art, it's no surprise that Peng Peng sounds as it does. It's as if every club they've ever played at over the years; every record they've listened to, danced to, shagged to; every style of music they've ever made; has come together in this all-encompassing melting pot.
Detroit techno, deep house, fractured funk, soothing ambient, intelligent dance music, hedonistic house... all can be found, locked deep in Peng Peng's grooves.
Opening track, Baby - a previous EP release for the boys - is a case in point: melodic, soulful, direct, it has a very continental style to its bones. Yet its masterstroke is in evoking a certain kind of hazy nostalgia. Without being in any way retro, its linear, almost perpetual motion, hints at a far-away train ride in which all memories suddenly come flooding back. Its dynamism is beautiful.
Roger is no different: evoking a sublime Global Communication meets Yellow Magic Orchestra alliance, its infectious dancefloor squeeze will have the ladies sashaying away, while the lads perfect their languid dancing finger shuffles.
The ecstatic orchestral synths and lush movement of Bounce and the discordant, industrial, Aphex trickery of Keep The Drums Out, meanwhile keep heads a nicely bobbing with wonder. Single All I Need is another standout. From its mysterious, almost cinematic opening - an early contender for the next Bond theme perhaps? - to its robust, pounding techno, textures are constantly teased, deconstructed and redefined. It sounds as though it could be an elaborate art house prank. It's not, it's dance music relocating its warmth and humour without falling for the wacky button. Old school rave mixed with an energy which suggests The Chemical Brothers (and when did you ever think you'd see their name connected to our fabulous trio?) is all over Logan. And if Madonna really wants some confessions to report back from the dancefloor she'd do much worse than lose herself in the hot buttered funk of the sensual Best Friend. Dirty deviant disco indeed.
The vibrant Oggi, and the spastic elongated bounce of Sao Verought are further highlights, and yet, arguably the best is saved till last. Vampire Song is an evangelical, almost spiritual blissful lament. Rounding the album off in a tender, elegant fashion, its languid grooves make it the perfect end-of-nighter.
Peng Peng resolutely shows that dance music hasn't hit a creative cul-de-sac. Brimming with ideas, joy, warmth and an incredible smile, with any justice it'll bring 'em flocking back. Now, all we need to know is, what the devil is all this Voom Voom business? We'll allow one inimitable member to explain: Legend has it that Roland Appel was a big Kiss fan in his teens. Not knowing how music was done then, he was certain the music was made by recording the sound motorbike engines. A well-known promotional poster of Kiss on four big choppers cemented that theory.Boom, boom. Ladies and gentleman, we give you Voom Voom.