Playgroup/Various DJ Kicks

What do you do after releasing an '80s obsessed eponymous debut - a record either lauded for its retro idiosyncrasies or viewed as a cheap bandwagon jump capitalising on the electro-clash craze? Well if you are Trevor Jackson, the producer behind Playgroup's red curtain, you wait a couple months and drop the latest entry in the illustrious DJ Kicks series. It's a bit daunting at this stage, as each new aspirant will be compared to previous outings by the likes of CJ Bolland, Smith and Mighty, Kruder and Dorfmeister, Rainer Truby and Kid Loco. However, Playgroup passes muster, but just barely. There's the nostalgic cameo from Human League and a remake of "Tainted Love," disco funk from Smith'n'Hack, post-punk from the Rapture, and a little old school hip-hop from KC Flight and Wanda Dee, but it builds up too slowly - though the flute-inflected opener is quite classy. And despite a number of intriguing cuts and directions, his hope of summing up 20 years of club culture ends up not quite realised. (!K7)