Crazy P
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Crazy P

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"Crazy P, When We On (2020Vision Recordings)"

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. - Magnetic


"House ensemble Crazy P get reflective on their upcoming album"

Following on from 2008’s critically acclaimed Stop, Space, Return, Crazy P return for their fifth studio album When We On released on 2020 Vision.

In 2000 Danielle Moore made the fifth member of the band, whose vocals feature heavily on the up coming album, Chris from Crazy P describes:

“It shaped a lot of the vocal sound for the album. There’s a tune called ‘We Can Only Be Who Are’ which has big vocal layering, and there’s a lot of that. It’s probably a bit more… grown-up.”

The album also includes hotly tipped track ‘Open For Service.'



- Guestlist


"Crazy P"

In the past, Crazy P has secretly hoped for cross-over success. But with ‘When We On’, the band have eschewed any pop aspirations. Gone are the funky tracks, replaced with the sound of talented musicians exploring their craft. While the electronics are still intact, live instrumentation is allowed to sparkle. ‘Your Dark Energy’ has tuba stabs and a grand piano that make you feel like you’re in the room with the band. Danielle Moore’s lyrics have depth and her delivery is honest. Perhaps mirroring developments in its members’ personal lives, Crazy P has stopped trying to be something. It just is.
Digby - Mixmag


"Album Review: Crazy P ‘When We On’"

Notion has been something of a musically educational experience for me (amongst other things). I’ve heard a lot in the past few months from the speakers of the ever-malfunctioning Notion stereo, from filthy, eyebrow-raising hip-hop to angelic, tear-jerking folk. My personal music taste has never gone beyond the realms of “guitar-based Brit-pop” type bands. It’s not that I have anything against other types of music; I just wouldn’t know where to look. (From day one, my dad filled my lugholes with The Smiths, The Who, Pink Floyd, and so on.) So if you were to tell me a few months ago that I would be sitting on my bed, shoulder-shuffling, zealously writing an album review for Crazy P on a Monday night, I would have laughed at you. For a long time.

In the office, I sit behind a man whose enthusiasm for disco leads to all kinds of wonderful office dance moves. And now, I can safely say I’ve adopted his enthusiasm and taken it to a whole new level; a level that means every time the question, “what shall we listen to?” is asked, I’ll either shout “CRAZY P!” or secretly wish someone else suggests it.

When We On’s opener ‘Open For Service’ teases you with delicate whispers and tense piano loops, before bursting to life at the one minute mark. And that’s all it takes; that’s when you know – this is going to be a record you’re going to love whether or not you want to admit it. ‘Changes’ has a well-executed bass-beat and repetitive lyrics that’ll have you with your hands in the air clapping away like you’ve known this song since forever. ‘Beatbox’ does exactly what it says it will and more; synths and scrunchy vocals pave the way for an artificial beatboxer, whilst a distant cello gradually merges into a sexual guitar riff. ‘The Unbearable Lightness Of Being’ is a beautiful cocktail of laid-back sounds that sets the scene of being beside a pool, with the sun setting and the moon’s reflection rippling on the surface of the water. ‘Heartbreaker’ sees Danielle’s more soulful vocals shine through, as she cries, “you’re no good”; it’s one of those feel-good songs that make you feel restored even though the topic itself isn’t all that “feel-good”.

If I’m going to be completely honest, I spend the first eight songs anticipating ‘Eruption’, which has me grinning away, skating around a massive disco-ball in gold trousers just twenty seconds in. In my head, of course. I can’t count how many times I’ve told the office, “THIS IS MY FAVOURITE” and tweeted the lyrics, “let me be the one that you run tooooooooooooooo” – yes, with that many “o”‘s. It’s disco at its best, laced with piano riffs and choral harmonies that infect you in ways you never knew you could be infected. ‘Future Beat’ closes the album with its locomotive rhythm and echoing reminder that this album really is “all that you needed”.

In case you haven’t picked up on my immense enthusiasm for this album, I love it. No, really. I don’t care if you “don’t really listen to disco” – after all, neither did I. So, just go put it on, have a few drinks, grab your dancing shoes and before you know it you’ll be shoulder-shuffling. Who cares if it’s not a Friday afternoon? When it comes to Crazy P, it’s always disco o’clock.

For more info on Crazy P, and to order ‘When We On’ look here. ‘When We On’ is out now!

-Charlie Clarkson
- Planet Notion


"Crazy P - When We On review"

Chris Todd and James Baron may have more aliases than Howard Marks between them, however Crazy P’s identity and narrative has remained a steady signature for as long as we can remember. Danielle Moore, their animated lead vocalist with more front than an incoming hurricane, has provided the band with the necessary energy to allow CP to become, with very little fuss, one of the most anticipated contemporary house acts of the last decade.

Rather surprisingly, it has been almost three years since the release of their last studio album, Stop Space Return – an album that was crammed full with indulgent and indecent disco sounds, reinforced with the ever-present vocals of Moore, and delivered the expected euphoria from the masses.

However, the huge appeal and appreciation of the Nottingham outfit hasn’t just stemmed from previous albums (Their first EP, A nice hot bath with… was released back in 1998 – really??) and although all seminal work, it’s their unwavering appetite to tamper with already-fine tracks – collaborating with the likes of The Revenge, Greg Paulus and Mint Royale – that keeps everyone on their toes.

So with a reputation for both style and substance, the arrival of their fifth studio album When We On has got everyone a little bit excited. Well, quite a bit, to be honest. So much so, that the rumour mills are turning at a ferocious rate, with suggestions that this is their last album, a swan song if you like, before settling down on their Alpaca farm in rural Sussex. I may have made up the last bit.



To kick things off, the aptly titled ‘Open for Service’ greets you like an old friend would with a welcoming embrace – presenting those well-known vocals, samples and melodies instantaneously. The following two tracks, however, remain relatively mid-tempo, with uncomplicated but well-executed beats and orchestral whispers.

But it is the notable gear shift of Track 5 ‘Heartbreaker’ that makes you sit up and pay attention, and this is moment when you realise that CP have stepped away from their recent routine. Although religiously producing anthemic numbers in the past, there have always been echoes of disco greats, but this is a house record with grit and steel, and a guitar rift that The Cure would be proud of.

And when you finally arrive to ‘Wecanonlybewhoweare’ the only issue you’ll have is that it doesn’t last for several days. Moore’s rebounding vocals compliment the Balearic-kissed beats better than a Hot Toddy at Christmas.

This is arguably CP’s most accomplished and mature album to date, but hopefully not their last…

When We On is released on 19th September on 2020 Vision.
- The House of Disco


"CRAZY P RETURN WITH 5TH STUDIO ALBUM 'WHEN WE ON'"

Following on from 2008’s critically acclaimed Stop, Space, Return, Crazy P return for their fifth studio album When We On, released 12th September through 2020 Vision. The album will be preceded by a single 'Open For Service' released on September 5th.

Alongside the wealth of brilliant remixes they have served up recently, When We On shows how far Crazy P have come since 2008. Whether it’s the anthemic ‘Beatbox’, with its freeform acapella work, grinding Prince—style guitar and haunting strings, the reflective ‘Eruption’, driven on by a rave piano figure and lead singer Danielle Moore’s plaintive cry of “Let me be the one you run to” or, at the other end of the scale, the Detroit techno-esque ‘Sonar’, with its increasingly frenetic payoff, this is an album packed full of potential singles. They might be crazy, but they sure know where the tunes are located.

“With Stop Space Return we wrote the majority of that as a band,” explains Jim Baron. “For this, we decided to strip it back to me and Toddy (Chris Todd. Guitar/Keys) writing with Danielle. We gave Danielle the Loop Station and she’s really taken to it. You can layer vocals, you can hear harmonies immediately, so she can jam along with us now. It shaped a lot of the vocal sound for the album. There’s a tune called ‘We Can Only Be Who Are’ which has big vocal layering, and there’s a lot of that. It’s probably a bit more… grown-up.”

Chris expands on the theme: “We had quite a big year last year for lots of different reasons and we had difficulties too and I think a lot of the writing came out of that. It’s a little bit more reflective and thoughtful than previous albums.”

For Danielle, it’s been a revelation in the way they work. “It was back to basics,” she says. “I’d have a go on the keyboards using two fingers or I’d have a go on the drum machine. It was like being at school or in a huge sandpit where you’ve been given loads of buckets to muck about with. We had a loop station as well which I’ve always been nervous of and this time it was like right let me have a go of this and it allowed me to record my vocals.”

For Danielle, the album narrative is the camaraderie between its protagonists. “Their friendship came through in creating this album. The way we worked created a lot of intimacy between us and a definite warmth to the album.”

Despite the suggestions of melancholy from the band, and they certainly know how to emote when the moment’s right, they haven’t forgotten how to party. “We’re open for service, we’re open for love,” sings Danielle. Crazy, but true. - AltSounds


"Crazy P: Still Crazy After All These Years"

For over a decade, Crazy P has helped to bridge that often-treacherous crossover between electronic production and live band, along the way playing a key part in defining the ever-evolving disco-house sound.

Crazy P (formerly known as Crazy Penis, for those of you with good memories) began in 1996, formed in Nottingham, UK, by DJs and producers James Baron and Chris Todd. Initially favoring an experimental electronic sound, the duo’s disco tendencies soon took over, and as various live band members and vocalist Danielle Moore joined, a solid Crazy P sound quickly took shape, culminating in mammoth world tours and the release of Stop Space Return in 2008, a critically lauded mix of electronic funk and deep disco tones. After a temporary hiatus, the band are returning with album number six, Where We On.

One of the aims of Stop Space Return (written by the entire band, not just the regular setup of Jim, Chris and Danielle) was to capture the live sound that defined Crazy P at the time, says Baron – an ethos which has now shifted. “With the new album we wanted to retain some of that,” he explains, “but we also felt we’d lost a bit of the original Crazy P sound – starting with samples or quirky ideas and developing tracks from there.” The result, as Baron puts it, “is a bit less funky this time round” (though only a little), but the excess funk has been replaced by rich vocal textures and a surprisingly soulful element, such as the warm falsetto melodies that lead Sonar.

This poignancy arises from an unfortunate episode last year, when Danielle was taken seriously ill for a number of months, during which the band stopped all work on the album. Thankfully, Moore made a full recovery, but the episode had a significant effect on the band’s songwriting mindset. “Something like that really makes you step back and consider everything,” says Baron. “Once Dani was well, it gave us an impetus for the record. We went back over the old sessions and there were a few bits we wanted to keep, but a lot of that material became superfluous. We all felt we needed a fresh start.”

In a sense, then, the new album is the logical (and emotional) next step, although there are certainly numerous flashes of the deep funk which pervaded Stop Space Return – an album heralded by many as pre-empting the ensuing disco-house resurgence, particularly with the rise to prominence of the live sound exemplified by acts like Hercules & Love Affair and Azari & III.

“We weren’t specifically trying to make a disco record with Stop Space Return. As far as we were concerned, it was just what we were doing – it was always there,” says Baron. “If you look at the stuff we were doing in the late ’90s, it was heavily disco-influenced. Fashions and trends come and go, and it just happened that when that record came out, there was a bit of a disco explosion.”

Indeed, it’s clear from looking at Crazy P’s back catalogue that they have in fact been at the forefront of the disco-house sound for over a decade. Take, for example, the acid-funk of “Starwar,” from debut album A Nice Hot Bath With in 1999, all the way up to Eruption, from Where We On, full of piano stabs, classic funk guitar riffs and Moore’s lush, layered vocal twists.

It’s an intriguing evolution of the sound that Crazy P themselves helped to pioneer, and thankfully the band shows no signs of stopping what has become a progressive musical journey anytime soon. - Société Perrier


Discography

A Nice Hot Bath With (1999)

The Wicked Is Music (2002)

24 Psychedelic Freakout (2003)

A Night On Earth (2004)

Stop, Space, Return (2008)

When We On (2011)

Photos

Bio

With one of the best live dance music shows on the planet, Crazy P have been leaving their mark on the landscape of British dance music for the last 15 years.

To trace the origins of Crazy P we have to go all the way back to 1996.

This was the year that brought together James Baron and Chris Todd. It was the era of Ataris, Akais and bedroom studios and, through their love of bending and reshaping old records from many different genres, a production partnership was born in the backstreets of Nottingham.

After a couple of releases under various different monikers, the work attracted the ears of deep house label Paper Recordings based in Manchester and the creature that is Crazy P was born.

We won’t bore you all with and year by year history of what happened next and how we ended up with a name like Crazy P as rumour and speculation are far more interesting than the truth.

Their first four albums A Nice Hot Bath With (1999), The Wicked Is Music (2002), and 24 Psychedelic Freakout (2003), and A Night On Earth (2004), coupled with the addition of live band members Tim Davies, Matt Klose, and the vocals of the inimitable Danielle Moore saw Crazy P gain acclaim, record sales, DJ gigs, and most pertinently, live shows, across the world.

Equally at home on huge outdoor festival stages in Australia or basement sweatboxes in East London, Crazy P have made their name with a unerring combination of lushly structured songs and live power, whilst never forgetting their roots on the dance floors of the late 90s’ house, disco, and soul clubs.

2008 saw Crazy P sign with 2020 Vision – a natural fit for the band with their their roots in early house and techno, and an eye to the future of both.

Stop Space Return (2008) was the superb first fruit of this new label hook up, with the album’s title track becoming something of an anthem for both DJs and as part of the band’s live show.

Preceding the return to fashion for disco and boogie by about two years, ‘Stop Space Return’ showed a new breed of producers that Crazy P were right on top of their game – with the ‘new school’ of Artists like Jamie Jones, Wolf and Lamb, Reboot, and KiNK on the phone for remixes, alongside pop acts such as VV Brown, Empire of the Sun, and Sam Sparro who all wanted a little bit of discoid magic

All of which brings us bang up into 2011. The start of the year saw them releasing Crazy P presents MTS Vol.1; a two track EP of ‘bangers’ influenced by their increasingly busy DJ and Soundsystem show schedule – and a nice drop of ‘P’ business whilst they finished off their new, and fifth album.