ARE ESS “Onsen Egg” (Foreign Power)


Yeah, I got my hands on some Tarkovsky Criterion action. Stalker and Solaris were both pretty great. Slow burns, both of them, but the payoff was worth it in both cases, and each was a master class in character development. Are Ess, aka Robert Sergel (initials!), has also checked out a bit of Tarkovsky, and the mood has filtered into his music. This is a good thing – Are Ess strips away some of the fuzzier elements of earlier EP releases for Onsen Egg, a much more subdued affair, atmospheric and serene. The pace is tranquil (except on propulsive tracks like “Motorik Dream,” which you can totally figure out what it sounds like just from the name). Sergel sure doesn’t sacrifice his knack for writing a killer tune, though – he just combines some of the best things about traditional pop songcraft with whispier, more effervescent flourishes.