Across time and space comes a match-up born in indie wet dreams. Prime beatsmith, underground MC, and all-around American boy Fat Jon (Five Deez, 3582), through a 2001 workshop in Antwerp, developed a rapport and mutual respect for well-known Berlin DJ/programmer Arne Van Petegem (Styrofoam). Some five years in the making, The Same Channel is a lucrative cultural exchange of the highest calibre.
Production wise, Styrofoam’s club-friendly, synth-driven electro-pop takes command. You won’t hear much of Fat Jon in the beats. Instead, he rests his concentration on delivering rhymes pleasing to the most eccentric music geek. “Upgrade” actually interweaves several popular music equipment brand names in its lyrics (Logic, Native Instruments, and Focusrite, to name a few). That’ll surely see all the indie trippers out there creaming themselves. However, there’s a part of me – not a big part, but it’s there – that’s not totally sold on Styrofoam. His sequencing is pure class, but I’ve never really been a fan of the sounds he creates and chooses. That’s where I’d really have liked to have seen Jon make more of a contribution. Still, The Same Channel is a truly memorable meeting of truly different underground minds.