When you talk about a remix album, it’s hard to avoid mentioning the originals. Of course these are supposed to be variations of the source material, but when does the remix become something totally new? As much as I trust the remixers’ capacities for what they do, these songs are so perfect in their own right that it would seem superfluous to remix the material. The remixers walk a thin line between being too faithful to the original and completely making the songs unrecognizable. Thankfully, all of the remixers on this CD move perfectly in accordance to this line, occasionally tempting a step either way, but never falling in either camp.

Most of the tracks on this CD take a drum ‘n’ bass oriented path, which is good, because frankly, I am sick of house mixes. They vary greatly in mood, however, from the light, bouncy mix by the band in their Transradiodiety guise to the relentless industrial onslaught of “Getting Away” by LARVAE. Chris Vrenna remixes “everything you’re dragging” in a style which is completely his own. He brings seemingly disparate elements into tightly wound whole. This CD also features a track from the I Could Lose sessions called “Tortoise” which, if you know that album, fits in perfectly.

This CD is somewhat remarkable because it doesn’t sound as fragmented like many remix albums. A certain thread runs through all of the mixes, which makes it better listening. While this is more the product of the remixers’ imaginations, the appeal that makes Underwater so great remains intact. The packaging is nice as well; small, functional, and minimal, but also elegant. This record comes highly recommended.

Transradiodiety Music, P.O Box 5855, Atlanta, GA 31107; http://www.mindspring.com/~urad

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