We last heard from Italian born singer-songwriter Porcelain Raft over the summer of 2015 when he gave us the Half Awake EP, it was the first release for Mauro Remiddi, the project’s mastermind in almost 2 years. The EP was a welcome return and showed an artist continuing to push not only his own boundaries but explore the realms of dreamy, hazy, synth based pop. Half Awake was a release for fans to dig their teeth into especially for those who fell for his debut LP Strange Weekend and now he has returned with his third full length Microclimate, his biggest sounding and most expansive collection of songs to date.
Microclimate will be released on February 3rd on CD and digitally in Italy only via Factory Flaws, while Porcelain Raft’s own label and creative space Volcanic Field will release the record in the rest of the world with a special limited edition run of 250 colored vinyl.
The album was recorded by the Remiddi in his studio in East LA’s Highland Park neighborhood and was mixed by Remiddi’s longtime collaborator Chris Coady at the legendary Sunset Sounds Studios. Throughout Microclimate, we hear acoustic guitars mixed with rusty-like synths, strings morph into underwater drum machines, and at the centre of each song Remiddi’s voice is as present as ever.
The new landscapes, topography, and climate all influenced and inspired the songs on the album, in particular a trip to Big Sur where the landscapes blew him away. Remiddi explains, “By definition a microclimate is ‘a local set of atmospheric conditions that differ from those in the surrounding areas.’ The unique temperature and humidity of a coast line, the moss growing on a large rock by the sea, those are microclimates and in a way the 11 songs of the album are 11 microclimates themselves.” Each song has a specific world and atmosphere, each song is an independent experience from the next, but at the same time, if you listen to the lyrics, you can feel one body of work.
The two previous releases from Porcelain Raft, 2011’s debut LP Strange Weekend and the follow up Permanent Signal both felt like Remiddi was on some kind of journey, asking questions and exploring new lands. Microclimate feels like he has discovered something along the way, and whilst he doesn’t have all the answers he has something important to say, culminating with the final song on the album. Here we hear Remiddi softly sing, “the poets were right, it was always an illusion, some people came back with visions, some other with conclusions.” In the end, perhaps it’s not where you have been that really matters but more importantly, what you came back with.
Microclimate is the third full length from Porcelain Raft and arguably his most powerful record to date. It will be released February 3rd on Volcanic Field / Factory Flaws.