Awhile back I wrote a post about the way in which “chillwave” was an unfortunate misnomer, as in actuality anything that falls under the banner of this “new genre” is essentially a continuation of dream pop (albeit a seemingly more homespun bedroom/laptop version.) That being said, artists like Memory Tapes, Washed Out, and Neon Indian create an updated version of the gossamer dream pop that built 4AD in the 80s, and when it’s done really well it transcends labels.
The project of Italian ex-pat Mauro Remiddi, Porcelain Raft crafts shimmery, pink noise that is loop based, has super emotive synth washes, and is fixated on the language of dreams and literally begins with a stunning track called, “Drifting In and Out“. This is slow dance music that in a different place and time would accompany scenes of unrequited love at High School dances, desert road trips to bury a friend, or a passionate embrace in the rain. The most devastating example is a track that happens halfway through the album (“Backwords“) and has all the heartwrenching power of early OMD or Bjork at her most lovelorn.
It’s a marvelous record that is, especially on headphones, as nostalgic as it is fresh and as heartbreaking as it is romantically triumphant. Put this on a mixtape for a Valentine, and you may just melt them into the proverbial putty in your hands. And if you don’t, you’ll still have an amazing soundtrack to your rain soaked walk home alone from the dance.
— Mario Cotto