Dollars to Pounds: Porcelain Raft

June 24, 2010

Hey Italy, you may have been humbled and humiliated in the World Cup today, but don't worry dudes! Displaced sons like Mauro Remiddi can give you hope. He lives in London and makes music as Porcelain Raft, which sounds like a delicate, drifting daydream, and that's kind of how he sounds. Here is a lovely song from one of the three amazing EPs he's put out this year. I spoke to him about his cool blog and all the amazing videos he's been making (including this new one for Yuck).

Download: Porcelain Raft, "Stained Glass"

You were born in Rome. Italy has a rich history of the kind of music you're making: dreamy, psychedelic pop with weird, experimental electronic elements.
True, in the '60s there was a lot of good music going on in Italy, but to be honest with you it's hard for me to connect to it really. When I was a kid my mother would listen to Renato Zero all the time (an Italian glam singer, check the song called "Triangolo" so you get the picture [Ed: If you are a fan of spandex you really have to watch this]). My father use to have the whole Pink Floyd collection and I remember at age of 12 I would take a portable recorder put Atom Heart Mother on and I would start recording myself talking and inventing stories while the music was playing. Stuff like cowboys trying to catch an alien and stuff like that. It was fun. The fact that my music can be dreamy sometimes is just because I actually remember all my dreams! So they play a big part in the composition I guess.

You used to be in a band called Sunny Day Sets Fire. Is it true your last band name came from an internet generator? Your new project has a great name too.
Aha! Yes the band's name came from an emo-band name-generator. I thought it was funny 'cause at that time there was a strong need to call a band THE something. Short names and so on. That one wasn't short. I personally didn't feel like being in a band anymore, I had something in my head I really wanted to realize. A vision that needed just me on it. The interesting thing about a raft made of porcelain is that it couldn't possibly float on water but yet we imagine it floating.

You seem very prolific. You haven't been around that long and you already have three EPs of music up on Bandcamp. Is your debut album going to be a 47 song multi-volume epic?
I started recording roughly around five month ago. I want to follow my own rhythm and if I feel making two EPs a month well, why not? I think there are no rules. You just do what feels right for the songs. In my case, songs are meant to be heard when they are made. Recently I'm experimenting with a new way to record my stuff. Make up a song and the video for it the same day. I have basically 24 hours to get it done. I tend to over produce and that technique allows me to put myself in a frame where dust doesn't really have time to settle. Over thinking in that process is not an option. Right now I have three new songs/videos. I'll post them soon. There's a plan to put out a 7-inch EP around Aug. Very excited about it.

I really like your blog and the way you use it as a gig diary. The show in a Manchester church sounds amazing.
I've basically done a total of seven shows now. First I have to say that I've been very lucky 'cause I played with really good bands and the promoters have been very supportive. I met a nice bunch of people like Now Wave, Transparent, Don't Die Wondering, No Pain In Pop... these dudes are really passionate about what they do. It's been a work in progress with my live shows so far. The first show I was standing with my guitar and a sampler next to me. The second I finally had my Wurlitzer. So I was seating and sometimes standing using guitar. The sampler on the piano fell off once and triggered 10 samples at once. Aha! So now I put some blue tack under the machine. I'm still trying to figure out things. I want noise between songs. I want one song disintegrating into chaos while the second song slowly rises. I didn't play my quite slow songs yet. I'll play them from now on I guess. As I said it's a work in progress and I'd like to keep it in that way.

You make awesome videos for your songs. How do you decide what images fit your songs?
It's so much fun making videos! I don't have the right program or equipment though. I use a program that doesn't allow me to have more than one layer at the time I can just fade images into each other. Mostly I found images on YouTube then I shoot my computer's screen. I want to start to use less collage technique and more original footage. I just need a new camera, my friend Onyee lent me this one but it hasn't got batteries so I cannot bring it out of my flat.

Tell us about your song "Stained Glass."
"Stained Glass" was recorded at home like the rest of my stuff. In one day. Using my self-imposed limit of 24 hours. The video was fun to make. Jake my flatmate showed me a documentary about '80s metal the day before. Somehow the metal dudes on "Stained Glass" video are anything but shy. The images are in contrast with the lyrics of the song. Even though I have to say there something almost cute in these '80s hair-metal bands. Trying so hard to be over the top... it almost makes me want to say "it's ok dude." Sometimes being shy can be the strongest form of seduction.

From The Collection:

Dollars To Pounds
Dollars to Pounds: Porcelain Raft