Playgroup Playgroup

After years toiling away as a sleeve designer (Eric B. and Rakim, Stero MCs), producer (the Brotherhood) and a remixer (Massive Attack, U2, Dirty Vegas), Trevor Jackson has come out swinging with the debut from his Playgroup collective. Reflected through the lens of disco-punk's brief unsettled marriage, and the offspring that union produced, Jackson has used his long-established contacts in the music biz to rope in everyone from dancehall don Shinehead and expat electro duo Peaches and Gonzales to Aztec Camera's Roddy Frame, old-schooler KC Flightt and Le Tigre's Kathleen Hannah. But the high production value and seamless synthesis of live musicians and computer technology, not too mention a welcome return to pop song structure, lets the record surpass its trendy retro-'80s trappings and become good party music for any decade. (Astralwerks)