With Housecats and Kittins having all the kids on the block block-partying like it's 1982, the time's never seemed riper for un-ironic, reverential, authentic-sounding, non-mocking '80s-pop-ing. The Underdog, Trevor Jackson, convenes a whole bunch of kids from the old (Edywn Collins, Roddy Frame, KC Flightt) and the new (Luca Santucci, Kathleen Hanna, Davy DMX) for his after-skool Playgroup. Coming up in the discothèque all disco/not-disco, Jackson's perspicacious hindsight gazes back to what was winning back in the day, now dragging it into the drag-and-drop to create pro-tooled playlist pop, its parts glued together into a seamless, shiny, mirroring whole. Even though there are samples to be found on the record Shoes for Industry here, Josef K's Paul Haig there, The Slits flitting intermittently in for the most part it's entirely live-played electro-funk, the virtual band (whose roster of real humans includes Dennis Bovell, thus...) dabbling with traces of dub and appropriated-dub. The whole takes cues from cats ranging from Afrika Bambaataa to Marley Marl to Universal Robot Band to Rocker's Revenge to the Rock Steady Crew to, y'know, Prince and ABC and shit. In the dilettantish flipping through varying shades of discotastic early-lecktro-pop, it's pretty obvious that Jackson, head of Output records, is a music fan, and, back in his day, was a record-store junkie. Not only that, Jax has dug out obscure pop figures to guest in Playgroup like he's ratting out rare vinyl from a mildewy milk-crate. His desire to have "strong women" amongst the nerdy guys leads him not only to Hanna but to such footnote figures as Billy Childish's Headcoat/ee ingenue Kyra and former Kinky Afro'd Happy Monday warbler Rowetta. The bio for the record, and thus all the press that goes with it, also claims that Peaches & Gonzales do their vulgar vulva-parting party-music neosexual new-Sonny & Cher shtick on Playgroup, but it ain't on the Australian, American or UK pressings. Which means that I, record-store junkie, will have to dig in browser-equivalent crates until the Underdog doggin' it with her royal Canadian permness is mine. I think I hear a Japanese import calling.