Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

PengPeng
VoomVoom
!K7/Rough Trade
CD
April 21, 2006

Track list
  1. Baby³
  2. Roger
  3. Bounce
  4. All I Need
  5. Keep The Drums Out
  6. Logan
  7. Best Friend
  8. Fish
  9. Sao Verought
  10. Oggi
  11. Urwald
  12. Vampire Song
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : -/4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Following the coverage of the German/UK 'nu-dub'/lounge/downtempo (and not to be forgotten as we've seen in the review of Rodney Hunter's "Hunter Files", Tosca's "J.A.C." and "Souvenirs" by Tosca - featuring one half of Austria's G-Stone masters Kruder & Dorfmeister, Richard Dorfmeister alongside Rupert Huber, and will once again see in this review: the Austrian Vienna-)scene, with the excellent article Dub Revolution by Gregory Stephens, and several reviews featured on these pages of music coming from the closely to the Austrian scene linked Berlin camp around Basic Channel and especially Basic Channel's 'partner in crime' Paul St. Hilaire, now it's the other half of Kruder & Dorfmeister, Peter Kruder, taking the spotlight alongside Christian Prommer and Roland Appel from München, who are not only Fauna Flash but also 2/3 of Rainer Trüby's Trüby Trio, and the three of them together as VoomVoom have now released their debut album "Peng Peng" on !K7-Records. A bit more shying away from the dubby atmospheres of Kruder & Dorfmeister and Peter Kruder's other solo project Peace Orchestra, they concentrate on very soulful minimal high house grooves, as the 2003 12" release opening this album "Baby³" clearly shows in its 6 minutes long melodic minimalistic soulful groove, before the heavy syncopated synth-bass driven "Roger" provides 8 minutes of an infectious dancefloor filler without ever losing your attention even when heard over your livingroom's speakers. "Bounce" is more straightforward four-to-the-floor, but its keyboard stabs raise it above the standard before the orchestral synth layers join the vocodered vocals halfway through this 5 minute song, followed by the more experimental "All I Need" that starts with a groove provided by pizzicato bass and violins before the techno hi-hats join in after a minute together with a heavy guitar riff combining for a pounding dance song with a constant slowly changing texture and then the discordant industrial approach of "Keep The Drums Out" grips your attention. "Logan" is an oldschool drumroll driven tune starting with just a simple keyboard theme, before layers of synths and 'noises' complete dominate it crossing over into bigbeat territory, before "Best Friend" shows the influence of funky disco (or is it disco funk?) with typical nu-jazz keyboards over it and fine falsetto vocals and the strange but also like the latter more downtempo "Fish", retaining however its dancefloor appeal completely. "Sao Verought" brings back memories of the synth layers used in the most intelligent drum and bass, with excellent intriguing percussion and a beat that will have everybody moving to it, and then "Oggi" holds that vibe, even though the prominent role for the percussion has been dropped and only the synth layers and a bubbling bass are backing the drum pattern and minimal use of sound effects on this tune. "Urwald Song" is the only short tune on this set, clocking in just above 3 minutes, a beautiful dubby work out with hardly more than a non-moving drum pattern and a synth bass line, with minimally moving mini layers of keyboards, before the mystical vibe of "Vampir Song" stately closes this very fine album. Highly recommended for the non-purists who dare to venture in the experimental non- and not-only reggae based dub soundscapes of downtempo, lounge, nu-jazz, nu-dub and in the case of VoomVoom's "Peng Peng" especially soulful minimal high house.