May 29th, 2012
Porcelain Raft Will Be At Kung Fu Necktie On Thursday Night, Supported By Our Friends, The Homophones
Photo C/O Under The Rader mag.
It was a few months ago that Strange Weekend crossed our path and got itself thrown into the On The Record bunch. Mauro Remiddi is a curious fella. He’s Italian, but lives in New York now, and is a man of many talents. He composes, plays piano, sings, and slaps together one beautiful, intoxicating album. There are synths, there’s acoustic guitar, subtle percussion and eerie effects – none ruining the whole. Secretly Canadian put it out in January, his first as Porcelain Raft after brief efforts with bands called Sunny Day Sets Fire and Filthy Dukes. But on Thursday night, KFN will be a place of humble beauty and emotional thoughtfulness. This record has little swagger but it has pain and heart. In fact, the text R5 used (are those mostly just artist-produced bios, ya think?) to describe him makes him almost sound like, well, a pussy:
“With all this chat about Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen elsewhere today we thought we were going to OD on testosterone. So much manliness. Of course, there is another male rock’n'roll archetype, and that is the lost boy – Syd Barrett, Nick Drake, characters who were barely there, who made their music then drifted away. Their careers weren’t played out, as per Young and Springsteen, as titanic struggles against the forces of oppression, they weren’t grizzled survivors, they quietly wrote some songs, found it all too much, and left.
Porcelain Raft is more of a lost boy than a rock man. That word “rock” says it all – you wouldn’t necessarily cling to him in a crisis, unless it was an emotional one. Maybe that’s why he calls himself that; he might crack, but then again, he might just save your life. His voice is soft, listless, not a roar of defiance but a whisper of regret. He’s more in the tradition of the fey indie boy who emerged, at a guess, circa punk or just after, with Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley as the Godfather of this whole new way for male performers to present themselves, Edwyn Collins as the Son, and Morrissey as the Holy Ghost. What those three projected wasn’t Bowie-esque glam camp but a sort of sexual indifference, a subversive disdain for all inclinations and orientations. With his placeless wispy lisp, Mauro Remiddi, an Italian living in London who used to be in a band called Sunny Day Sets Fire, sounds too weary and distracted, too enervated and dislocated, to think about anything as earthy as sex. It’s a wonder his keyboard gets played or his computer programmed. His focus appears to be trying to stay focused.”
Does he know this is out there for the world to consume?
Anyway, don’t be fooled by this. He’s man enough to put his extraordinary compositions on a record, and that’s pretty ballsy. He’ll be getting help in the form of The Sea Around Us and The Homophones. Hooray for The Homophones!