After having misspent his youth fronting several indie guitar bands, Arne van Petegem (Antwerp, Belgium) finally made the right decision and swapped his guitar for a sampler and sequencer to complement the Roland Juno keyboard he already put to startling use in his previous Tin Foil Star guise.
Styrofoam quickly started a meaningful relationship with up-and-coming Berlin label Morr Music and started recording his debut album in the isolated confinements of his home studio. In the meantime Styrofoam also started doing his first live outings, supporting Mira Calix amongst others.
"The Point_Misser", the Styrofoam debut album on Morr Music, was released early July 2000 to general acclaim. The album was a collection of eight wonderful tracks of moody electronica drenched in melancholy, keeping a delicate balance between sparse melodies and distorted beats. The album received glowing reviews.
In the summer of 2000 Styrofoam performed at the huge Pukkelpop festival in Belgium, with label mates such as Phonem and Arovane. Later the same year, Styrofoam got invited to play some dates in the USA, including a performance at the legendary Knitting Factory club in New York and a packed instore show at the ultra-cool Other Music Records store, both with fellow Morr kid B. Fleischmann.
Apart from producing and releasing music, Arne also has a "second" professional life. He used to help local HipHop and R'nB kids producing their first musical steps in a government funded project. In 2004 he was offered a new job as a supervisor in another government funded project. He now works in a musician's centre in Antwerp, providing rehearsal spaces, recording studio, multimedia- and music software classes.
Additionally, Arne got married and became a father twice. His daughter Tias was born in 2001 and his son Wilco in 2003.
In the meantime, Styrofoam had also been busy finishing his second Morr Music release, "A Short Album About Murder". On the one hand this new collection of tracks goes back to Styrofoam's vocal pop past, while at the same time his love of hip hop clearly shows in the tracks' build up, sound and structure.
In the spring of 2002 Styrofoam has been seen touring Italy and France supporting The Notwist. This is where he first presented new material that has eventually been released as the "I'm what's there to show that something's missing" lp in April 2003. The month before has seen the release of Styrofoam's 12" teaser "A Heart Without A mind" incl. a radio edit of said track as well as a live-mix of "Fade Out Your Eyes" which originally has been released on Morr Music's second compilation "Blue Skied An' Clear".
Due to van Petegem's turning away from already quite song oriented productions towards a yet more classic song writing, Arne expanded his project to a fully fledged band in order to present his music in the most appropriate manner. The Styrofoam band already played a few European festivals like La Route Du Rock in France during the summer of 2003.
That same year, Styrofoam became a member of The Notwist's live incarnation and toured Europe and North America with the band.
In january 2004, the Brussels based music venue Ancienne Belgique approached Arne for the 25th anniversiary celebrations. When the artistic director of the club, Kurt Overbergh, started to plan activities for their anniversary, he immediately adressed Styrofoam, whose musical career he's been watching closely since the very beginning. They initially came up with the idea of a special show at Ancienne Belgique which Arne was supposed to host, but as the venue not only provides a big concert hall and a small club, but a studio as well, they pushed their idea a bit further. The people at AB decided to provide Arne with the opportunity to produce parts of his next album at the AB studio and fly in and accomodate a suitable number of musical guests. The result is "Nothing's Lost", which will be released in November 2004 on Morr Music. It features guest appreances by Markus Acher (The Notwist/Lali Puna), Valerie Trebeljahr (Lali Puna), Alias (Anticon), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie/The Postal Service), Andrew Kenny (American Analog Set), Bent van Looy (Das Pop) and Miki (Pitchtuner/Munk).
Also in 2004, Arne helped to realise The Go Find's debut album "Miami" (Morr Music 047, release: september 2004) to a huge extent. The Go Find is a project by Arne's friend Dieter Sermeus, who also is part of the Styrofoam live band.
In the fall of 2004, the Styrofoam band will tour North America alongside labelmates B. Fleischmann and Lali Puna.
And as if all these activities weren't enough for two lives, Arne van Petegem is right now collaborating with Fat Jon, a well known US hip hop head (Five Deez, !K7 Records) who recently relocated from Cincinnati to Berlin. Their musical baby will be born on Morr Music as well.