Review: When you think of the way we were when Blink 182's angsty punk-pop was tapping the top of the charts one word comes to mind - innocence. Compared to this era of impending existential doom it was easier to work out solutions then, even if solutions weren't put into action. So welcome to the new age, and a new Blink 182 intent on carving a fresh place for themselves in this frighteningly complex point in history. It's as though 2016's "California" was a cathartic and temporary rekindling of old flames, giving closure and helping the band move forward properly. Here they take us into territories barely on their radar before. Not that opener "The First Time" doesn't nod to past glories. "Darkside" brings arty, experimental punk, "Heaven" is a main stage overture, "On Some Emo Shit" is a desperate call for help and admission of the universality of fragility.
Review: Since launching last year, Lil Static has offered up new, lightly altered editions of classic tracks from Jeru the Damaja, Kraftwerk, Run-DMC, Nas and the Notorious B.I.G. Here they continue to serve up vital beats for break-digging DJs via classic cuts from Eric B. & Rakim and Mountain. The A side sports an edited version of 1986 cut "Eric B. Is President", a synth-bass propelled NYC hip-hop gem rich in unmistakable rap vocals and tight scratching. Over on side B there's a chance to savour Mountain's late '60s rock cut that provided the Eric B. & Rakim track (and so many others since) with its distinctive drum break, "Long Red". This edited version gives more prominence to the breaks, making it an ideal mixing tool for hip-hop DJs.
Melody Nelson (unreleased instrumental edit) (3:50)
Cargo Culte (unreleased instrumental edit) (3:58)
Review: This rather tidy, limited-edition "45" offers up two previously unheard instrumental edits of stone cold classics from the bulging back catalogue of Chanson hero and sleazy but chic singer Serge Gainsbourg. Side A boasts a superb revision of "Melody Nelson", a sweeping, string-drenched affair underpinned by sweaty drumming that arguably benefits from the removal of Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin's vocals. Over on side B you'll find an equally evocative version of Beck favourite "Cargo Culte". Stripped of the original lead vocals, the track sounds like a lo-fi art-rock instrumental smothered in ghostly choral vocals and creepy, foreboding musical flourishes. Top stuff!