As I did with the review of Volume I, I will recommend that those of you who have not heard Isis, in particular the band's last full-length Oceanic, head out to your local independent record store and purchase a copy. Give the album a few listens and then you can come back and read the remainder of this review.
And we begin on Side A with a reworking of the track "Carry" by Tim Hecker, who is best known for his work in Jetone. Hecker has reduced the song down to nothing more than a single guitar tone. But what he has done is added a lot, and I mean a lot, of distortion to the tone. As the track progresses and the distortion is pulled back you can make out in the background the sampling of a conversation. While the words are indecipherable, it creates a very somber and eerie mood. The remainder of the song is that same guitar from the beginning. This is a rather dull version, but fortunately things get better.
The second track on Side A is yet another rendition of "Carry." I'm beginning to wonder if these individuals even listened to the rest of Oceanic. Anyways, this interpretation is entitled "Like I Will Love Her Forever (Fucking Die!)" and comes to us from DJ Speedranch of Phantomsmasher and Venetian Snares fame. This is definitely my favorite version of "Carry" that I have heard off the remixes thus far. This rendition opens with a child singing the "Humpty Dumpty" song, which is humorous. This abruptly ends and we are presented with Aaron Turner's harsh screams. As that fades out Speedranch has inserted the segment with Maria Christopher's soft and sweet voice, giving it a nice contrast to Turner's coarse vocals. Despite this contrast, the song remains seamless. Like Hecker's version, DJ Speedranch has added a lot of distortion to the lone tone that he repeats, creating a sound similar to that of a zeppelin. But unlike Hecker, he has worked in several segments of drumming. The ending of the song is the closet to the original that we have heard thus far. Perhaps this is because DJ Speedranch has left in a large portion of the vocals as well as a significant amount of drum work.
Side B contains only one remix, "Hym," which has been touched by the gifted hands of JK Broadrick of Godflesh, who is also the mastermind behind the new Hydrahead signee, Jesu. The original version of "Hym" is my favorite track from Oceanic, so I had high expectations for how this was going to turn out. Lucky for Broadrick, he is one talented individual. Broadrick has stuck to the formula of leaving the majority of the musical composition as it was. He leaves his mark in the organization of the song pieces that he has chosen to work with. We all know that repetition is synonymous with Isis, yet Broadrick found a way to further associate the two. This adaptation is so flawless, I found myself forgetting that it was indeed a remix that I was listening to.
I find it difficult at times to explain these remixes because there are so many variations to the originals. So if you have the opportunity to purchase these vinyls, please do so. For those of you unwilling to venture into the world of vinyl collecting, all four volumes will eventually be released in a CD box set.
Yet again, this is another fairly interesting combination of remixes. While HeckerÃ¯Â¿Â½s remix is rather lackluster, the other two are phenomenal, making this a great release for Isis fans to pick up. Look for Volume III with remixes from Thomas Koner, Teledubgnosis, and Mike Patton to hit stores through Robotic Empire at the end of August.