The follow up to The Wicked Is Music has finally arrived! An album of several new...
Jack Smith 2004-07-06
You've gotta admire a group with the balls to call themselves Crazy Penis - attention grabbing for all the right reasons. But there's nothing flaccid about this wonderfully crafted album that perfectly captures a day-in-the-life-of one of the most exciting bands to emerge from the British dance scene since Massive Attack.
Picking up where The Wicked Is Music, their stunning second album from 2002, left-off, the latest collection is a beautifully constructed soundscape of Balearic-kissed beats, rolling dance grooves and subtle nuances that sound more delicious with each successive play. Instinctively groovy, occasionally laid-back, but always polished and musically hip, man.
The opening trio of songs is tautology in motion: the complex and simple rolled into one. The art of true greatness is making the hard look simple, and this CP do this with much aplomb. The smooth midtempo shuffler, "The Time Is Right" sets the tone, exploding from a whisper into an anthemic number in the space of a few bars with Dannielle Moore's lead vocal sounding implausibly relaxed against a rattling retro-funk back drop.
The gears shift down into "Mid-Lounge Crisis" - initially sounding like the looped opening bars to Kool & The Gang's "Ladies Night" before morphing into a Mr Fingers-inspired groove. Following that they deliver their take on label mates Neon Heightsdownbeat instrumental "Listen To The Music"; their club hit from last year that in the esteemed company it now keeps sounds uncannily like a lost master from the Love Unlimited Orchestra.
The six-piece ensemble from Nottingham ooze musical flare and sharp production savvy, although surprisingly Moore's vocals are not a permanent fixture throughout. Making a welcome reappearance on "Magical Progression" - which echoes of the SOS Band's breakthrough '80s hit "Do It Right" - her tones perfectly suit the guitar motifs that create instant timeless appeal.
Whether recording under their own name or kicking ass on remix duties,Crazy Penis have further pushed the envelope on Brit-dance. Few attempt to fuse '70s funk influences with deep house rhythms, pop-melodies and soul instrumentation and even fewer succeed, yet Crazy Penis offer enough variations in the rhythms and arrangements to keep 24 Hour Psychedelic Freakout a mesmerising listen time and time again.