Flush from remixing Elvis to his 30th number one with A Little Less Conversation as JXL, Dutch DJ Tom Holkenborg turned down a request from the Beatles to remix something of theirs and instead reverted to his full moniker for this fantasy league of his favourite vocalists. Along similar lines to Oakenfold's similarly star-studded 2001 Bunkka, the album is based on an imaginary pirate broadcast and mixes Holkenborg's dance/trance sculptures with trademark vocals from the likes of Dave Gahan, Peter Tosh, Solomon Burke and Chuck D, with a real Cure-y jewel in the one sung by Robert Smith, Perfect Blue Sky. Holkenborg reinvents Gary Numan as a trance star and, in a real coup, coaxes Terry Hall into at last revisiting his fabulous early-Specials ska sound for Never Alone. Less successfully, there are a mystifying three awkward contributions from Republica's Saffron, and an accompanying chillout disc is mostly dull. But for all its wobbles and indulgence, this is infinitely superior to a JXL mix of, say, Maxwell's Silver Hammer.
Natural-born archivist that he is, it is no surprise that Jack White would eventually choose to curate his own career. Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 is his first attempt at offering an alternative narrative of his own career, one that places his quieter side as the connecting thread running from the White Stripes through the Raconteurs to his solo work. It's a tactic that diminishes some of the conventional notions about White, particularly that most of his music is grounded in the blues. Despite Greil Marcus' mention of blues icon Son House in the liner notes, most of the music on Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 bears stronger ties to country and folk, even British Invasion pop; the latter is evident not only on the singsong whimsy of "We're Going to Be Friends" but the cinematic melancholy of "Forever for Her (Is Over for Me)."