Review: Playgroup

“DJ Kicks”
(K7! Records)

There was a time when electronic music was new and different and everyone was tripping over themselves to buy up every buzzworthy band coming out of Europe. Happily, those days have passed, but electronic music has found a way to survive. And not only survive, but evolve and mutate into something exciting and fresh, with tentacles reaching into all genres of music, including hardcore and metal. What the K7! label has done over the last decade is at the heart of this evolution, putting out the ‘X-MIX’ series and most recently the ‘DJ Kicks’ series, allowing these artists to create unique mix albums, while encouraging personal expression with no limits on the musical boundaries. On the newest ‘DJ Kicks’ release, recent star (but longtime underground pioneer) Trevor Jackson, under the guise Playgroup, has crafted a funked-up and eclectic groove-bomb crashing through crates of music from punk to funk, new wave to hip hop, mixing up modern disco-boogie with mad pop smarts and underground skills. Featuring the clubbed-up styles of The Human League, the no-wave punker attitude of The Rapture and the bassic punk-funk of The Flying Lizards as well as boogie-beat covers of ‘Tainted Love’ and ‘Gonna Make You Sweat’, this beat-oriented brain-fry is guaranteed to make you feel a little bit nutty. And even if you don’t dance, Playgroup will get your booty shaking.