Porcelain Raft And His False Obsession With Asian Dictators

Ten strange questions for the new kid on the dream-pop block

A quick listen to Strange Weekend, Porcelain Raft’s debut album, might make you think that you are hearing another one of those albums produced in a young American university student’s eight-metre-square bedroom. But nothing could be further from the truth. The man behind this project is no other than Mauro Remiddi, an Italian globetrotter who has undertaken various musical projects in the past and who now, well into his thirties, has finally come into his own. His music is delicate, fragile, and dreamy, as his pseudonym itself suggests, and it can be linked with current dream-pop and some artists of the chillwave movement, like Washed Out. After coming out on Secretly Canadian, these songs have to be presented live, and he will do this with an enormous responsibility: he’s the opening act for the European tour of M83. We are taking advantage of this opportunity (as well as the recent release of his debut album) to ask him a series of questions in which (yes, you are reading it right) Asian dictators become the focus.

Your pseudonym suggests the notion that your music offers a sense of gentleness and beauty. Are those some of the qualities you try to have in your songs, and if so, to what degree?

If you find those qualities there, I don't try to have them - I just let out whatever is there. The name is more a way to keep cynical people away. They see the raft made of porcelain sinking in water (of course). If you are not cynical you may wonder, “if not in water, where is it floating then?”

If you could have a porcelain raft, where would you like to sail away to?

This planet, it's pretty awesome and full of unexpected things.

Here we like the idea of you being something like a porcelain collector, and your house like a small museum of pottery. Apart from that extraordinary Ming Dynasty vase you might have somewhere, what’s your most valuable object?

Probably it is a book, but a book isn't an object really. I mean it is, but I don't know why it's hard for me to think of books as objects.

Please tell us what your weirdest weekend was like and what happened then.

It was the weekend of the hurricane in New York, we were warned to be home, everyone was buying water and supplies as if the end of the world was around the corner. The hurricane came and it was nothing more then a big storm. I stayed home, drinking wine and listening to records...the best time.

You have a picture of Imelda Marcos in your blog. Why? You know she was an avid shoe collector, so you might be able to pick your three favourite models from her wardrobe.

I love shoes. The best thing is to buy a very expensive pair that will last for at least 10 years...I have just one pair of shoes.

You played for Kim Jong-il. Where were you when he died and what do you remember of that concert in North Korea?

When he died I was in Italy, I guess. I just remember that those shows were in huge theatres and I didn't enjoy them, (I was) too busy being paranoid about their people spying on us all the time.

It seems you have some sort of obsession with Asian dictators and totalitarian regimes, so… would you get excited if Hu Jintao asked you to play in the Communist Party Congress one of these days? What would the setlist be like?

I don't have ANY obsession with dictators or totalitarian regimes. I hope you are kidding. You don't play for politicians in general, that's a lesson I learned early on.

You recorded a Nirvana cover. What Whitney Houston song do you think would suit you best and why?

I don't like W. Houston, never did. She’s got great, amazing songs— they just don't connect with me.

You describe your music as “sleepwalking pop”. Are you afraid that a fan may sue you after listening to your music, falling asleep, waking up sleepwalking and hurting himself/herself by crashing into a wall?

A sleepwalker is confident in his walk. There's no crashing, just soft landing.

Your music can be related to dream-pop and you’re the supporting act of a guy whose new album is entitled “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming”. So, is that dream thing coincidental, or is there an actual conspiracy here?

I thought you guys were behind this conspiracy, is that true? Well, let's be friends anyway.

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