Show Review: Porcelain Raft, Plastic Believers, Vague-à-bonde

Dylan Hester

Booming, anthemic-yet-melancholy electropop usually sounds like something to be heard in large, packed clubs. But the three artists who performed at the Entry last night – Vague-à-bonde, Plastic Believers, and Porcelain Raft – made a strong case for the opposite. At times the aesthetic was similar to the post-disco garage house of early 1980's NYC, calling to mind a more lush, fashion-focused environment. This juxtaposition is a welcome one: the intimate environs of the Entry allows for synthpop to be heard in a context not dissimilar from the mythologized smokey jazz clubs of another era.

Today, creating an intricate and layered sound world does not require such a large budget. So when Vague-à-bonde (Minneapolis native Nicole Brenny) took the center of the stage and likewise placed her voice at the center of the music, she was a chanteuse immersed fully in the moment. Likewise, local duo Plastic Believers don't sound too far removed from the likes of The Knife, Crystal Castles, or even New Order at times.

Headliner Porcelain Raft (Italian-born Mauro Remiddi, who currently resides in NYC) brought another level of depth to the aesthetic by playing alongside a live drummer. His set was largely culled from his recently-released debut LP “Strange Weekend,” and was a fantastic melange of electropop and shoegaze. The two musicians utilized synthesized loops, powerful drum work, and a dreamy, reverb-heavy guitar to provide an excellent backdrop for Remiddi's vocals to shine. His is a voice that is impressively well-polished on its own, fitting perfectly into the lucid dance-haze.

"Put Me to Sleep” was a highlight, despite Remiddi's humorous reluctance to mention the title of it. For all his humble banter with the crowd, the energy didn't break once – it continued to build with each song.

In a set that lasted roughly three-quarters of an hour (including an encore), Porcelain Raft managed to pack in an exuberant amount of energy, an enthusiasm which was reflected equally by the crowd. Remiddi's thank-yous to his audience were nothing if not sincere, and his passion for his music was clear. If he continues to innovate his electro-shoegaze sound, Mauro Remiddi will certainly need a bigger venue the next time he brings Porcelain Raft to Minneapolis.