Premiere: CRAZYTOWN! – XMAS IN JULY (DERO ARCADE, 2021)

Words: James Frostick

Naarm-based crew Crazytown! is indulging in a bit of belated festive cheer with Xmas In July – a splendid slab of sweaty, synthetic strange out today via Dero Arcade. Hard to pin down but easy to pick up, the members of Crazytown! have hijacked Santa’s sleigh and set about delivering this gift far and wide. Today we’re chuffed to be premiering the release,  a collection of crocked club-friendly carols for the subterranean set.

We’re a few months removed from Christmas now and, to be honest, it didn’t even feel all that festive in the moment. Chalk it up to it coming at the arse-end of a shit year, I guess – no toy Santa could conceivably stuff in my stocking could polish the lump of coal that was 2020. There’s some good news for the similarly minded masses, though (those on both the naughty and nice lists). Crazytown! – a four-person unit making self-described “gay club themes filtered through a lens of free jazz and noise” – is today gifting us a belated holiday gift. Xmas In July is the group’s new eight-track album (out via Dero Arcade), chock full of bent beats, ket-laced loops and squelching synthezoid sounds.

Crazytown! (which features members of Zanzibar Chanel, EN.V and Cheap Present) has taken the Yuletide spirit and forced it into a blender, pulping it into a viscous goop which is then lathered across a collection of instruments crafted by elves at the tail-end of a bender. Glitched and blitzed, Xmas In July tears through tempo and tone like an excited child rips through wrapping paper, unveiling passages of discordant dance, unconscious unce, askew ambience, playful plops and scuffed shuffle (my gift to you this year is my alliterative wizardry). Robotic bleeps and bloops are overlaid by affected vocals, so distorted that I can only catch fleeting phrases. Exploratory and revelatory, Crazytown! looks to unsettle and upend preconceived notions of club music, technique turned up and turfed out on a whim. This release was recorded in December 2019. I’m choosing to believe the group created it over a sleepless Christmas, piecing together each dissonant drub between Christmas cracker pops and pinky finger baggie dips. Now that’s the true spirit of Christmas!

Listen to Xmas In July here:

Xmas In July is now available through Dero Arcade digitally and on limited-edition glitter cassette.