Ego Likeness - East
Electro, Goth Probably the most predictably titled EP I've ever had to review, given that the last three such releases from Ego Likeness were called 'West', 'South' and 'North'. This is the longest of their 'compass point' releases at 10 tracks, but follows the trend of containing a few new songs plus a selection of remixes. I have no idea what they'll call their fifth EP (Middle? Up? North-East?) but that's a puzzle for another day.

The three new tracks are varied in style and quality. "-geist" (their spelling, not mine) goes for the slow, menacing dirge aspect of the Ego Likeness sound, but it's a flawed composition, meandering structurally before hitting a noisy climax that sound more like poor production than genuine crescendo. 'Persona Non Grata' is a more upbeat darkwave rock number, throbbing synths driving the song through to choruses that actually prove to be quite anthemic. 'Tea In The Sahara' is an interesting little oddity, lush layers of synth strings and ethereal vocals with hardly any percussion. Ambient tracks such as this often amount to little more than album fillers, so it's actually a relief to find such a track that I listened to more than once.

The remaining seven tracks are given over to remixes. Ego Likeness are quite a well-connected band, which thankfully means there are a decent range of artists providing the alternate versions. Rather that than another EP full of aggrotech bands remixing another aggrotech band. Vanguard VST only has so many presets. That doesn't mean to say that some of their more adventurous remixing selections pay off.

Whoever thought borderline power noise project Terrorfakt could remix "The Devils In The Chemicals" must have been punch drunk. Sure, the resultant mid-tempo stomp that was eventually delivered is far from unlistenable, but only at the cost of suffocating all the life out of the original song. Angelspit take on the same song, and whilst the original track is at least more evident here, I was expecting these Aussie electro-punks to deliver a rework with a little more edge. As it stands, the remix they delivered certainly beefs up the original with jagged guitars and rough synth lines, but it never really grabs the original track and forces itself on the original audience like you'd hope it would.

The one remix that does achieve this effect is the Komor Kommando remix of "Inferno". Seb Komor has a decent track record in remixing electronic rock songs into full-on floorfillers, and he's pulled it off again here, adding a thumping bassline and raucous leads, whilst leaving the essential core of the song intact. This, my friends, is how remixing should be done. Bella Morte remix the same track, but their vocally-processed version pales is grating in places and pales in comparison.

There are also two remixes of 'Severine', and they're both pretty good. ThouShaltNot assemble a 'Floodland' mix, which is code for saying they've gone all trad-goth on us, and the song isn't any worse for the conversion. Rick Burnett utilises cleaner guitar tones in his version, duly assisting in the mission to prove that remixing isn't just about programming a dance beat and flying in a few vocal samples from the original. Because the remix of 'I'm Not Mary Ann' by The Dark Clan commits exactly that sin, burying hints of the original in a dreary, generic techno-dance production.

Anyway, as a 'bits and pieces' collection, 'East' has it's appeal. If you've got the other parts, I wouldn't discourage you from completing your compass points by acquiring this release. If you're new to Ego Likeness, however, you'd do better by starting with one of their studio albums (any of them will do, they're all pretty good). And if you're a DJ looking for a decent floorfiller, just go straight for the Komor Kommando remix.
3
Brutal Resonance

Ego Likeness - East

6.0
"Alright"
N/A
Electroracle
Released off label 2012
Probably the most predictably titled EP I've ever had to review, given that the last three such releases from Ego Likeness were called 'West', 'South' and 'North'. This is the longest of their 'compass point' releases at 10 tracks, but follows the trend of containing a few new songs plus a selection of remixes. I have no idea what they'll call their fifth EP (Middle? Up? North-East?) but that's a puzzle for another day.

The three new tracks are varied in style and quality. "-geist" (their spelling, not mine) goes for the slow, menacing dirge aspect of the Ego Likeness sound, but it's a flawed composition, meandering structurally before hitting a noisy climax that sound more like poor production than genuine crescendo. 'Persona Non Grata' is a more upbeat darkwave rock number, throbbing synths driving the song through to choruses that actually prove to be quite anthemic. 'Tea In The Sahara' is an interesting little oddity, lush layers of synth strings and ethereal vocals with hardly any percussion. Ambient tracks such as this often amount to little more than album fillers, so it's actually a relief to find such a track that I listened to more than once.

The remaining seven tracks are given over to remixes. Ego Likeness are quite a well-connected band, which thankfully means there are a decent range of artists providing the alternate versions. Rather that than another EP full of aggrotech bands remixing another aggrotech band. Vanguard VST only has so many presets. That doesn't mean to say that some of their more adventurous remixing selections pay off.

Whoever thought borderline power noise project Terrorfakt could remix "The Devils In The Chemicals" must have been punch drunk. Sure, the resultant mid-tempo stomp that was eventually delivered is far from unlistenable, but only at the cost of suffocating all the life out of the original song. Angelspit take on the same song, and whilst the original track is at least more evident here, I was expecting these Aussie electro-punks to deliver a rework with a little more edge. As it stands, the remix they delivered certainly beefs up the original with jagged guitars and rough synth lines, but it never really grabs the original track and forces itself on the original audience like you'd hope it would.

The one remix that does achieve this effect is the Komor Kommando remix of "Inferno". Seb Komor has a decent track record in remixing electronic rock songs into full-on floorfillers, and he's pulled it off again here, adding a thumping bassline and raucous leads, whilst leaving the essential core of the song intact. This, my friends, is how remixing should be done. Bella Morte remix the same track, but their vocally-processed version pales is grating in places and pales in comparison.

There are also two remixes of 'Severine', and they're both pretty good. ThouShaltNot assemble a 'Floodland' mix, which is code for saying they've gone all trad-goth on us, and the song isn't any worse for the conversion. Rick Burnett utilises cleaner guitar tones in his version, duly assisting in the mission to prove that remixing isn't just about programming a dance beat and flying in a few vocal samples from the original. Because the remix of 'I'm Not Mary Ann' by The Dark Clan commits exactly that sin, burying hints of the original in a dreary, generic techno-dance production.

Anyway, as a 'bits and pieces' collection, 'East' has it's appeal. If you've got the other parts, I wouldn't discourage you from completing your compass points by acquiring this release. If you're new to Ego Likeness, however, you'd do better by starting with one of their studio albums (any of them will do, they're all pretty good). And if you're a DJ looking for a decent floorfiller, just go straight for the Komor Kommando remix. Aug 15 2012

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Jonny Hall

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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