Following the other three EPs in the Compass series is East, the final release in this four piece collection from Ego Likeness. Like the other three EPs, this release features a handful of new songs packaged with an assortment of remixes. The first track, “–geist” is a slow, somewhat aimless journey. The distorted, menacing synths seem to anticipate some sort of deadly climax, but it never arrives and leaves the listener puzzled. The album then changes in tone with “Persona Non Grata,” a driving, thumping rock song with an ‘80s style anthemic chorus and soulful, soaring lyrics. The last new track, “Tea in the Sahara,” is a cover of the 1983 song by The Police. The original song was always somewhat enigmatic, with hints of an ambient darkness. Ego Likeness takes that darkness and runs into it headlong, producing a song that is clearly superior to the original. Donna Lynch’s vocals have a fragile, ephemeral quality, emphasizing the shadows in this song and bringing to mind the vastness and forbidding nature of the desert.
The remaining seven tracks on East consist of a varied selection of remixes. Komor Kommando does an excellent job with “Hotter than Hell,” turning it into a dance floor gem with intense bass and rhythms. Bella Morte remixes the same song later in the EP with less success. Their version feels overly busy and emphasizes vocal distortions with heavy programming overlaid. Two remixes of “Severine” are also featured. Both are enjoyable, although the simple guitar chords and mellow percussion of the Rick Burnett mix is a welcome change from the typical remix sound.
If you have the other EPs in the Compass series, East is a fine addition to complete the set. The remixes are diverse and for the most part, well done. The three new tracks do a decent job of keeping existing fans entertained. For new fans, it may be better to pick up one of Ego Likeness’s studio albums.
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Michelle Ly (MichelleLy)