Porcelain Raft @ Academy, Oxford 24.01.12

Sandwiched deliciously in between Chinese New Year and Burns Night, Porcelain Raft took to the stage in Oxford for his final UK appearance on the M83 tour. Mauro Remiddi, the man behind the music, opened up the show with ‘Drifting In And Out’, the opening track of his newly released record, Strange Weekend. Immediate sonic reference points emerged, with the bustling, strung out, ethereal chords evoking obvious comparisons with the likes of The Big Pink and I Break Horses. Remiddi’s drummer helps pierce this wall of noise with drums that act as sharp punctuation points to the floating guitar and synth sounds.

Jan 24th, 2012 at Academy, Oxford / By Dave Reynolds
Porcelain Raft While Porcelain Raft is a name that is only just beginning to get wider recognition, Remiddi has been performing under various guises for different purposes for more than ten years, and the confidence that comes with that much performance experience shines into his show. Halfway through the second track they played, the pair was already journeying off from the structure of the existing track, instead turning it into a fuzzed-out, loopy shoegazing adventure.

‘Put Me To Sleep’ came bristling though the speakers sounding so thick and woolly that it was threatening to turn t-shirts into fleeces. The vocals were almost always soaked with reverb throughout the show, seeping into the echoey synths. This meant that when Remiddi wanted to wish his driver a happy birthday between tracks, it came out sounding like a potential future bonus track.

The darker and slightly more sinister sounding track ‘Is It Too Deep For You’ sounded murky, cold and intriguing. It acted as a useful point of juxtaposition set against the lighter, sunnier sounds that the rest of the show was made up with. Remiddi is apt at creating a live sound that is packed with atmosphere and intrigue; however at times it feels like there needs to be an extra hook or two to drag listeners into the cloud of fog along with him.