Reviews Isis Oceanic Remixes Volume IV

Isis

Oceanic Remixes Volume IV

The time has finally come. Originally scheduled for a release in November, printing and pressing delays pushed the album's release back to January. Fortunately we were able to pass the time with a new Isis full-length, Panopticon. But now, the fourth and final volume of the remixes and reinterpretations of Isis' titanic effort Oceanic is available for us to bear witness to.

Just as Oceanic did, this final installment begins with the track "The Beginning of the End." Aaron Funk, who is also known as Venetian Snares, tweaks the track in a very unique manner. He has stripped the song of nearly all guitars, revealing the talent of bassist Jeff Caxide, which oftentimes is overlooked. Funk makes Caxide's bass playing the central element to his version of the song, but supports it with various programmed drum-sequences. Perhaps the most pleasing moment of the composition is the use of Maria Christopher's soothing melodies. The vocalist of 27 contributed her voice on the original, but was muffled by a wall of noise, in typical Isis fashion.

The next song that we encounter is Destructo Swarmbots' version of "From Sinking," which they have amusingly titled "From: Sinking To: Drowning." I know nothing of Destructo Swarmbots other than the fact that their name is fantastic. Based solely on this track, I strongly feel that they disgrace their namesake. Essentially, the song is nothing more than low end rumble that never once comes close to resembling the original, or music for that fact. This is a grave disappointment.

Side B contains the lone reinterpretation of "Weight," re-worked by electro-composer Christian Fennesz. For his selection, Fennesz has chosen to concentrate on the beginning sequence of the track, tackling the ambient rather than the chaotic, which he is much more apt to undertake. Fennesz takes the main structure of the opening sequence of "Weight" and intermingles his trademark electronic instrumentation with mechanical water soundscapes. And while I am only slightly familiar with Fennesz's own work, I found his ability to draw out the most minute individual elements and play on them to be remarkable.

Compared to the other volumes, Volume IV lacks the most in what I would consider meaningful content. Perhaps it was my lack of familiarity with those that composed the remixes which led me to this conclusion. Regardless, I must commend both Isis and the individuals that contributed their expertise for putting together such intriguing releases.

A final note to fellow Isis geeks out there: the two-disc CD release that was available only through Japanese label Daymare Recordings will be seeing a release in the United States sometime this year. Like the Daymare release, the CD version will feature an additional rendition of "Carry" by Tim Hecker.

7.0 / 10Michael
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7.0 / 10

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