On a first listen, you wouldn't be mistaken for thinking that Porcelain Raft was a London four-piece, exhibiting their shoegaze ambience with the husky voice of an arrogant frontman. But, you couldn't be more wrong. Porcelain Raft is Mauro Remiddi, a one-man band. Singer/Songwriter. Guitarist. Loops and Production, it's all his work and it sounds like a dream.
Remiddi jumped ship from indie pop band 'Sunny Day Sets Fire' to pursue PR and that was a pretty big decision, but this debut, out on Indianna's Secretly Candian label shows how it was a very valued one. Full of glitchy beats and a disturbing feel, this record catapults into a league of its own. It makes you feel relaxed, though very tense simultaneously. If you fell asleep listening to this, you'd be in for a disorientating alarm call, especially spinning opening track, 'Drifting In and Out.'
The thrashing beats of 'Is It Too Deep For you' are like whips combating the vibrating voice. There's even some kind of maraca in there, shaking intently to ease the vibrations. The Italian-born artist admits in 'Put Me In To Sleep', how 'It's hard tonight for me to talk.' Well, to be honest even if he didn't sing this album has enough excellence in its production to see it through. His voice does contribute to this one though, incredibly haunting and uncomfortable he demands to be put in to sleep over and over, hoping that someone will eventually give in.
Though this track seems quite ballsy on the surface, there's something very delicate and vulnerable in its spiralling depths, 'Say It From The Heart' is the 'festival' anthem of the record. Everyone would be chanting chorus, 'I don't want to listen, unless you speak from your heart,' reflecting his honest policy and some atmospheric noise which is imaginable in that muddy field. The past is revisited in 'Picture' where a touch of indie is present, good to see that Remiddi hasn't entirely erased his past from his musical mind. 'The Way In' ends the album as it began with the distinctive synth arrangements that duck and dive in varying pitches along with the words.
So, as we've gathered this is good, I'd go to say very good and even better if you're after a Strange Weekend.