EP Review: Porcelain – ‘Part One’.

I’m beginning to understand Porcelain. It’s a hunt for cerebral experience. There’s a want to lift sounds from the few ways we hear them; digitised, streamed, pressed to vinyl, through speakers, there’s a want to involve other senses.

The video released for Last Word had two faults, one of which Porcelain can’t be blamed for. I watched the video on one screen, their track and bio on the other, through training I treated them differently. YouTube feeds the eyes, Spotify feeds the ears, I hadn’t thought to consume them together. Had the music and visuals engulfed me at once as projections and sounds that surrounded, I’d have understood Porcelain better.

All the murky introductions, the numbered press releases, this nameless and faceless collective, what I part dismissed as a new band’s first gimmick might be the tentative steps towards that break out. Add to this a pre-release fake dating app which aligns responses to audio to a listening profile, and that want to engage is made plain.

Or of course, I could be wrong. Maybe it is all a gimmick. But I’m banking on bigger ambitions.

As for the EP that’s just been released, ‘Part One‘ is a string of triphop progressions that blend frantic percussion with wide open space, that fuses pressure with stripped down euphorics. There’s a wealth of busy and unfussy textures that are slickly entwined and produced. There’s the ambient moods of retro Aphex Twin and the thickness of mid-career Unkle. We hear brtualist bare sounds from the Burial playbook and the vocals of glitch gurus Lamb. At once based in the bleak sounds of dimly lit futures and rooted in bands of the past, it’s immersive and potent and stark.

‘Destruction‘ is the EP’s most rigid, but it’s first and their world expands outwards. From ‘Demons‘ to ‘Anon’ we get looser, textures shift to the forefront, spaces get wider, we involve ourselves more in the lucid arrangements. In a slow shifting networks of synths and fixed beats, the more the vocals become just a part of the fabric, the better the songs and their movements. By ‘Anon’ we are pure instrumental, it’s a slipstream of pulses and Arabic strings that slows EDM to a groove. If this EP is a world getting wider, I’m already waiting to hear what comes next and how these sounds and textures evolve.  

Once we twig there’s a world in the making, that these tracks on their own should be a part of something bigger, they might sound a little 2D. But that’s all because I’m wanting more, of what I *think* Porcelain might be after.    

‘Part One’ is out now. Find highlights from this track and others as always on Rats On Run Radio.