488 Words About Styrofoam

Not quite, more like this guy... Arne Van Petegem, a one man glitch electronica artist from Antwerp, Belgium better known as Styrofoam. Having worked with the cream of the crop in his genre (The Notwist, Lali Puna, mum, The Postal Service, Das Pop) and been signed to Morr Music, the definitive IDM label, he has been able to fine tune his style and it shows in his latest release A Thousand Words. He has a slew of guest vocalists backed carefully crafted beats and electronic flourishes. I have only been playing the album for a couple of days, but I can see myself setting this record for a long play. The different vocalists help to keep things interesting, and the tracks going beyond those ethereal sounds some electropop songs have that might put one to sleep. Maybe this is the next The Postal Service Ray has been waiting for?

I really need to stop referencing that band as the go-to example for any electropop band this decade, for example Styrofoam was around a few years before PS's Give Up. The Postal Service might have been the one to break into the mainstream but they are not necessarily the ambassadors of the genre. Ben Gibbard actually also just recently quelled some rumors about the futures of The Postal Service...basically don't hold your breath.
“The second Postal Service album is threatening to become the Chinese Democracy of indie rock,” Gibbard tells Rolling Stone. “It will come out eventually, or maybe it won’t.”
Back in 2004, Ben also did the vocals to Styrofoams track, Couches in Alleys.

Anyways, back to artist named after packing material,his music, as opposed to sounding cold and robotic as the genre he falls into (by default) implies, has depth and a definite human touch. With each successive listen, you peel a layer back just to find something new you had not heard before...

Oh and he also has a blog, Styrofoam's Starry Skies.

I am including a remix Styrofoam did of a local Miami band (and very good friends of the blog) Dance, Jenny. Check them out too. I have an (quite possibly the only?) autographed copy of their album La Música Pop. Maybe I should drop that sucker on eBay and score some big bucks! They had a free remix EP up for download a while ago called McDonalds Put Me To Work featuring the remix below by Styrofoam and others by chiisai-oto, Sleepy Eyes, and the_viirus. If you guys are nice, drop me an email (and a comment or two every once in a while would be nice too) and I'll send you a digi-copy.

And after talking so much about The Postal Service... why not a Styrofoam remix of said band also?

MP3: The Postal Service - Nothing Better (Styrofoam Mix)
MP3: Dance, Jenny - Sex is Free (Styromix by Styrofoam) // (zp3)

From A Thousand Words
MP3: Bright Red Helmet
MP3: A Thousand Words

(And yes, according to MS Word (minus this note) the blog is 488 words long.)


Anonymous said...

they just played here in boston on friday, sooooo good! it got a little shoegazey live too. it was awesome.

Victor Castro said...

Great post Chris... a little bit of everything! Clever title and yes, Styrofoam is what we are going to have to listen too until PS drops a new album. I remember (all of a sudden) Dance, Jenny with Battles @ Studio A... They ARE REAL good!!! All 3 tracks on their myspace are just dreeeeamy.... "October"!!!!!

Oh...... maybe Ben is giving PS a break due to all the buzz [kill] it got from "Such Great Heights" on GA... Although I have to say the scientific remix of that song is way too good!