Strange Weekend by Porcelain Raft
The weekend is something that I, like most people, crave, because it temporarily halts the monotony that makes up the rest of my week; however, when this long awaited respite arrives, it seems to fly right through my hands, and the mundane takes over once again. It’s not that I don’t remember my weekend, but it’s the fact that for me, weekend endeavors are so separated from the rest of my weekly activities that I feel they occur in a completely different place. By the time I realize that I am still where I started, Monday morning is right around the corner.
Mauro Remiddi, the man behind Porcelain Raft’s highly anticipated full-length debut, generates the same transporting sentiment on Strange Weekend by creating a lush, ethereal atmosphere that sustains itself over the entire record. The album’s opening plea on “Drifting In and Out”–“Take me away, directionless, it doesn’t have to make any sense”– combined with the track’s pulsating percussion prepares the listener to be taken to a far away place. Remiddi’s wispy, sweeping vocals only strengthened the album’s soundscapes. Many albums with a transporting characteristic can easily exhaust listeners with drawn out, experimental pieces; however, Remiddi avoids this pitfall. The longest track barely breaks the four-minute mark, and this impressive restraint (which can be credited to the fact that Remiddi wrote and recorded the album in just two months) does not sacrifice any creative or sonic freedom. Just like a weekend, this record takes listeners far from the routines of every day life, yet it is able to keep them in tune with reality.
The “Strange” in the album’s title can be attributed to the collapsing and gurgling thuds coming from the electronic percussion that is present on every track. Remiddi neatly couples these seemingly harsh tones with thick synth layers and a wide range of guitar sounds, from oddly complimenting acoustics to crunching buzz saw noises that he blends together gorgeously with rich vocal melodies to create some extremely memorable tracks. The track “Put Me to Sleep” contains rolling percussion that is accentuated by dramatic synth and vocal swells. “Backwords” is a beautiful track that plants Remiddi’s crisp vocals and smooth acoustic guitar playing on top of droning synthesizers and echoing claps. He is quite adept at weaving harsh sounds together into a sonic blanket that is bizarre yet familiar. The songs on Strange Weekend are gripping, but at the same time they are tracks in which it is very easy to get lost. This debut from a promising new artist leaves listeners yearning for more of Remiddi’s airy soundscapes. For now, we must wait and see where Porcelain Raft’s next weekend will take us.
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