Mauro Remiddi has a bit of a globe trekking past. The synthetic mastermind behind the music of Porcelain Raft
, Remiddi grew up in Italy, lived in London for 12 years, and somewhat recently relocated yet again to New York City. But for musicians, where you choose to live is sometimes irrelevant. Often times it's just the place you store your stuff. Thanks in part to his 2012 debut, Strange Weekend
, recent years have brought the kind of intense periods of traveling being a successful musician so often demands. It's a challenge to keep important people in your life, no matter how much technology like Skype and Facetime and pocket computers attempt to bridge the connection gap. Hence, the title that's scratched across the cover of his most recent follow-up, Permanent Signal
; it means "a condition in which a phone line is off-hook without connection for an extended period of time."
So we were happy our recent demands of this amazing musician didn't involve spinning the globe beneath his feet. Perched in a picturesque setting at the end of a pier in his newest adopted hometown, Porcelain Raft's dewy performance at The Brooklyn Half Pre Party, sponsored by New Balance
, showcased a variety of songs, new and old. Warm and heady, the sonic experience that unfurls in our latest concert video laps over the soul in overwhelming ways; synths and programmed beats and guitars churning about with Mauro's lovely, layered vocal melodies. Have a look and listen to this gorgeous video from a musician we're pretty sure is very happy to be at home in this performance under Manhattan's misty skyline.
About New York Road Runners' Brooklyn Half Pre Party
For three days leading up to the New York Road Runners' Brooklyn Half on May 17,
runners and their supporters gathered at the brand-new Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge
Park to pick up race materials, get psyched, and had a good time at the Brooklyn
Half Pre-Party presented by New Balance.
There was plenty of energy, including music curated by Baeblemusic, DJ's, and
fitness classes run by New York Health and Racquet Club. Runners got their
participant T-shirts and bibs and enjoyed authentic Brooklyn food, drinks, and
For more info about the Brooklyn Half, click HERE
For more info about NYRR, click HERE
Strange Weekend is Porcelain Raft's debut record, yet in many ways it's his 156th.
Somewhere in New York, Rome, or maybe London, there is a suitcase full of tapes, minidiscs and CDs -- days and days worth of music, all of it the result of Mauro Remiddi's 27 years of travels across Europe -- from his native Italy to London; of caravaning with the Berlin Youth Circus playing traditional gypsy Klezmer music; of reinterpreting traditional music in North Korea; and of a stint playing piano for an Off Broadway tap dance show. At this point, Remiddi has lived three musicians' lifetimes.
Amazingly, Strange Weekend -- with deep roots in so many times and places -- is an album that beautifully captures the fleeting right now. Remiddi's interest in movement -- about capturing a momentary now en route to the next -- is apparent; postcards and polaroids of buildings and faces from the street flicker past. The project's genesis lies in this visual imagery. Over the past year, Remiddi has compiled a catalogue of images -- gathered from the various nooks and crannies of the internet -- that have served as notes, inspiration, context and a map for Porcelain Raft's music.
Remiddi's androgynous vapor of a voice weaves like a ghost between Nick Gilder and The Alessi Brothers, Julee Cruise and Judee Sill. In more contemporary terms, Porcelain Raft stands confidently on a high hill between the sounds of M83 and Beach House. Lead track "Drifting In and Out" is loping and anthemic; gauzy and chiming. "Shapeless and Gone" follows with a heavy strum reminiscent of "Cosmic Dancer" -- full of mood and style without all the wearying excesses and feathered boas. Porcelain Raft's thesis statement hits when side B kicks off with "Unless You Speak From Your Heart."
Remiddi's enigmatic vocals carrying a hook so simple that you might think you sang it first; keys and bass that might make the needle jump off of your turntable; and a sense of raw sincerity that has come to trademark Remiddi's songs is what ultimately resonates.
And here, the myriad travels crystallize into something visceral; you may not be able to see the visuals Remiddi holds so dear, but you can feel them throughout Strange Weekend, and they stay with you as you travel on. Strange Weekend might have been made in a small place (a Brooklyn basement, in fact), but it is huge dream-pop, with melodies and synths billowing out in all directions.