PHYSICAL RELEASE Lifting their gaze

Perth locals Physical Release are set to release their debut self-titled EP this Saturday, May 4 at The Bird. It follows on from last year’s well-received¬†‘cassingle’ Medicinal/Under Skin and shows an expansion of their sound – known for shadowy shoegaze tones, industrial drum machine beats and vocalist Sarah Arney’s soaring textural vocals. The four-piece and incoming EP came about primarily as an expansion of the musical creations of Matthew Moore as he sought to take his penchant for brooding tones and expansive production into an engrossing listening experience both on record and on stage. BRAYDEN EDWARDS caught up with Moore to discuss the unique story behind the formation of the group, hunting for the perfect tone, their new EP and its launch this weekend.

Congratulations on releasing your debut EP this weekend, what’s been the most pleasing and challenging thing about getting the record out into the world?

Just getting it done, being happy with everything like comps and mixers and the like. You know you can’t spend too much time on these things, and they can become overworked or even never get finished. Also aligning my printer to be able to print the labels for the cassettes was a stressful procedure.

We got our first taste of your music last year with the release of your cassingle Medicinal/Under Skin. How has this EP expanded on the sound on those tracks, in your opinion? Is it much of a change or more an evolution to your current sound?

Yeah, it’s much in the same vein as those two tracks. It is changing but for the good and definitely getting closer to the sound I’m after.

For those not familiar with you, how did you come together as a group? Given it started as your own project how did you go about assembling a line up that was able to bring the music to life on stage and on record?

It was oddly convenient, I was living with Rene (guitar), Shaun (bass) was looking to get back into playing in a band of some description and Sarah was found the old fashion way of putting up flyers in the usual haunts, like supermarkets.

You’re known for being quite into the technical side of music production through your study and also in creating and repairing musical equipment like guitar pedals. Has this background informed the way in which you go about creating music?

Yeah, I guess so, I don’t really notice it but people have commented about how I have a pretty interesting and slightly unconventional way of making music. The making and repairing stuff really comes in when I’ve got an idea or I need something to do a specific thing and I can build something purpose-built for it.

What’s the longest amount of time you’ve ever spent trying to get the perfect synth tone, or does ‘perfect’ never exist?

(laughs) Yeah, it sort of doesn’t exist, or does it? It’s all subjective. Maybe I’ll spend a week tinkering on and off trying out different things and maybe reference something that I want it to sound like, talk to other local synth wizards and by the end of it I end up with something equally as good but not what I originally set out looking for.

Despite being a four piece you play your songs to a drum machine which I feel gives the songs a cold and industrial vibe. Was that always the plan or did you learn along the way that this was going to work best for the group?

At some point I thought about getting a real live drummer just to mix things up but why change something that already works? I think we have a good dynamic going on and everyone’s accustomed to playing to it.

And vocalist Sarah Arney’s voice is used almost more like another instrument rather than being the focal point of the songs, was there any other acts that inspired that aesthetic?

Not really, it kind of just turned out that way. We are both pretty into Beach House but I don’t think it is that evident, lots of people say that we remind them of the Cocteau Twins.

I see on the night you have a Melbourne artist Aarti Jardu playing in support. Given most of us wouldn’t be familiar with this act what can you tell us about them and what can we look forward to from that set?

They’ll be doing their self produced conceptual set titled Le Ra. Expect it to be dark ambient trip-hop like. Very atmospheric I have been told.

And what’s up next for Physical Release in 2019 and beyond? Any other music or live shows in the pipeline we can look out for?

I had plans somewhere for a music video, new music of course and hoping to book some shows with even more of an audio-visual experience.

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