Band of the Day

2012.01.27

Crazy P

Funky, soulful deep house whose slinky grooves stay ever-cool
I've been hanging around, mainly hanging upside down, holding on so tight and hope I see you through the light.
lyrics from Open for Service

UK electronic dance group Crazy P having been performing and producing original music since 1996. Not to be confused with Busy P (DJ and owner of influential French house label Ed Banger), Crazy P was formed by Chris Todd and Jim Baron at Nottingham University. Originally called Crazy Penis, the band later shortened the name. The band have released six albums over the course of their long career, beginning with 1999's A Nice Hot Bath With. The band added live band members, Tim Davies, Matt Klose, and Danielle Moore, who contributes vocals to many of the band's compositions. Combining deep house, disco, techno and other genres in their danceable sound, Crazy P has become known for their energetic live shows and DJ sets. Crazy P released album Stop Space Return in 2008 and most recently released When We On in September 2011.

Up until about 1994, the primary purpose of popular electronic music was to make you dance like a mad person. It wasn't until the mid 90s that a slew of chilled out electronic music began to step into the spotlight. Originally formed by Chris Todd and Jim Baron in Nottingham, UK in 1996, Crazy P happily occupies a nebulous space suited for somewhere between the club and kicking back in your favorite armchair. They're heavily influenced by danceable genres like funk, disco and house, but the grooves are chilled out and smooth. Dim the lights and crank it up, and there'll undoubtedly be some booty-shaking, and I suspect their live set is a riot of a dance party, but to my ears, their sophisticated, cross-genre jams are perfect for creating a chilled-out groove. Crazy P has released six albums in their career, and their 2011 effort When We On is another incredibly smooth ride of consistently well-crafted deep house. Part of the reason When We On leans to the chilled out side of the dance spectrum is its lack of climax. These tracks find their groove and dig in, reveling in funky stasis. The album starts out strong with “Open For Service,” a track grounded in a funky bass line and a beat the splits the difference between dance and rock. The real highlight is Danielle Moore, Crazy P's longtime vocalist who supplies a confident, soulful vocal line for the track. “Twisted” is another standout, mixing sultry piano and elegant, jazzy acoustic guitar with electronic atmospherics and a steady house beat. Moore sounds like a disco diva coming down from a long night out as she sings “twisted by love” over and over as the track unfolds over the course of nine minutes. “Wecanonlybewhoweare” sounds charmingly chic with its understated piano loop, accented snare hit, and lacy wordless coos courtesy of Moore. When We On is one of those records that sneaks in under your nose. It slyly fills a room (or headphones) with its ultra-smooth sounds then pounces when you realize how great it is.