Belgian electronica veteran Arne van Petegem drops the latest thing from his long-running Styrofoam project. We Can Never Go Home is a record of typically pleasant, slightly emo bedroom instrumentals. Imagine The Postal Service sans lyrics. Greek label Sound In Silence (yndi halda, (ghost)) proves a fine fit for the album.
CDr on Sound In Silence. Edition of 300 handmade and hand-numbered copies in light cream cardboard envelope with the front cover image printed on a polaroid style photo paper.
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Bit of a treat, this -- if you like pretty, very pretty, twinkling electronica that is (and might I be so presumptuous as to say you probably do) -- it’s a new Styrofoam album, for Athens-based Sound In Silence, a CD-r in a limited hand-numbered run in typically light and thoughtful packaging. So far, so attractive then.
Shockingly perhaps, ‘We Can Never Go Home’ is Arne van Petegem’s first full-length release in 8 years (under the incorrect name for polystyrene), but boy has he made up for it. Over 40 minutes of gorgeously airy, sumptuously melodic and subtly textured electronics with chilled, slightly glitchy beats. Yes, it’s a bit / a lot like a Postal Service record without any vocals, yet with song structures immaculately in place. Synths shimmer; synths bleep; synths hum. Drums frolic and scatter. Sometimes this man channels both Tangerine Dream and Orbital simultaneously (‘Did Your Mouth Buy You This Scar?’) and sometimes good ol’ reliables BoC (‘The Crook Of Your Elbow’) -- disagree with me and I won’t fight you, naturally.
Hard to pick a standout, but track 5 ‘Love Restores Almost Everything’ stands up to the best of Arne’s early work which the Morr label put out, back in t’early-Noughties. Nearing the conclusion of the disc and, guess what, still no vocals (make up your own lyrics, maybe?) It’s the new thing: just add words.
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