Fancy a little Crazy Penis in your ear hole? Well, you should. Crazy P, as the group is now known, is a funky bunch from Northern England that churns up impossibly buttery disco without breaking a sweat.
Started in 1995 by cheeky groove junkies Chris Todd and Jim Baron, Crazy P was originally signed to Manchester dons of deep house, Paper Recordings. Since 2002, they've been blessed with Danielle Moore's honey-hued, soft-core vocals and reinforced with Tim Davies' sticky bass and Mav Kendricks' rock steady percussion. Together the quintet has amassed a tiny but mighty catalogue of bewitching synth pop whose staying power hints at deals with forked-tailed types. Their latest CD, When We On, is an addictive blast of soul-kissed Balearic cuts that does little to dispel the notion.
The lead single "Open For Service" is undiluted radio-ready Philadelphia soul. "Changes" chugs along like a lost Madonna electro-funk demo. As the album plays on, the vibe gets darker and more seductive. "Beatbox" and "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" strip lo-fi house to its essentials. "Heartbreaker" picks up the pace and nods to Aretha Franklin and Peter Hook without losing its strut. "Your Dark Energy" and "Eruption" are too-short magical excursions into acid spiked electro and effervescent piano house.
By the album's closing it is clear yet again that the beauty in Crazy P's music radiates from a rigorous minimalism that is enchantingly carefree. I have no scientific proof, so I'll resort to paraphrasing Yiddish jokes: You don't have to like disco to like Crazy P, but it wouldn't hurt. Come to think of it, when Crazy P is "on," hurt is impossible to feel.
"Open for Service"is out now. When We On drops September 19 via 2020 Vision Recordings.