words by Erin Wolf
Mauro Remidi of Porcelain Raft has crafted an album that is cinematic in its shades of chillwave and dreampop, throwing a hazy veil over otherwise vivid and bright sounds; the basis of what chronicles Strange Weekend, whether it’s in tribute to one particular weekend or not. If the album is based on a weekend of Remidi’s design, expect one of complete abandon, with titles such as “Puts Me to Sleep”, “Drifting in and Out” and “Shapeless & Gone” playing follow the leader. WMSE talks to Remidi about his latest and how it was influenced and how a live performance will play out when he and his porcelain raft take to the stage of Milwaukee’s Turner Hall Ballroom to open for Smith Westerns.
You’ve been doing music for a while (Sunny Day Sets Fire, etc.) — how has this all built up and influenced Porcelain Raft?
Every band I formed was a way to develop and discover what I really liked, like discovering the letters of the alphabet. Once I had enough letters to articulate what I had in mind, and once I had enough confidence to go solo, the raft made of porcelain came about.
Your music is (in one word) atmospheric. How do you prefer your stage to be set up for live shows to reflect what’s going on audio-wise? Lights? Effects? Darkness?
I would say the live shows are much more energetic and less atmospheric than the album. The song develops on stage as well. My ideal light set up (if I could choose one) would be a white background behind us and playing with our shadows on the white surface.
Ist the title of your album referring to any one weekend in particular? Any stories to tell?
This album reflects feelings and thoughts which were there just for a couple of days. This album has a short time frame, anything that happened in those two days. So in a way, it’s more of a concept — it doesn’t refer to any weekend in particular. Said that, everybody has a strange weekend to tell about. Those are the weekends that we remember the whole year.
How does being Italian influence your music?
I don’t know, really…certain influences are kind of unconscious. In Italy, when I was small I saw all the music coming from England and the U.S. like something mythical. Something that wasn’t there where I was. Like a reflection of a world I’ve never seen before and I couldn’t really see first-eye. So, when I could, I put my best shoes on and went to see with my eyes what this fuss was all about.
What’s your favorite sound on the new record? Any particular instrument, loop or vocal line on any song that you are forever taken with?
The beginning of “Backwords”; that windy sound and the end of “Is It Too Deep For You?” — those weird vibrato strings. Those are tails or shadows of something that just pass through, or are about to pass. My favorite song of the album changes every week…right now, it’s “The Way In”.
Porcelain Raft opens for Smith Westerns tonight at Turner Hall Ballroom for an 8 p.m., all-ages show.