October 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
Konvex aka Tom McShane is a Kent local, based just out of our Thanet locale in Sittingbourne. As a producer his styles traverse dark, brooding Dubstep to inimitable techno vibe outs. Forthcoming releases on Crunch Recordings and N-Type’s Wheel and Deal Records are testament to the work ethic and skill behind the beats…
Where did you start musically and when did you start discovering the worlds of beat making?
I used to be quite into hardcore and the local bands but started to grow bored with it, so around the summer of 2009 I began listening to electronic music. I can’t really remember what exactly I was listening to at that point but I distinctly remember DJ Die’s ‘Skate Or Die’ EP being a staple on my iPod at the time. No one at school was really into stuff like that and no one could show me any decent stuff so I had to take to youtube to find the kind of stuff I liked.
I do remember the first dubstep tune I ever heard though. At the time ‘dubstep’ was this sort of buzzword I’d seen thrown around a lot but I had no idea what it was, and like I said earlier, no one at the school I went to could help. I searched for it on YouTube and clicked randomly on the first tune that sounded cool, Skream’s ‘Oscilatah’. I still play that one now and I’ve never really looked back!
I started going to house parties around the same sorta time and met a few people like Kursa who were into the same sort of stuff, mainly DJing at these house parties and letting me have the odd go. From there I got really into DJing, although I was terrible at it! But after a few months of DJing on my laptop at home and at house parties near me, I caught the production bug. I had no idea what I was doing with a copy of FL Studio at the time, just mucking around for hours and hours every single day on it, learning new things as I went. Luckily, I had people on AIM that I could bug for advice and although Kursa moved, we stayed in touch through the internet and every question I needed the answer to would go to him so I started picking stuff up quite quickly.
As far as your Techno influences go, did your Dad have a large part to play? Like, in terms of showing you the staple ‘go-to’ producers and production tricks?
Absolutely. My Dad has played a massive part in that side of things, he gave me a bunch of old records of his that he thought I might like and through that, found a bunch of tracks that have made their way into my sets (a couple even being in my mix!) as well as showing me artists to listen to and giving me feedback on my productions.
So producer wise, who was the most influential top three for yourself so far? Why is that, what makes you go “oh shit” when you hear their tunes?
Gantz – Every tune he does makes me reconsider why I even bother producing! I always think “Gah, I wish I came up with that idea!” when I hear new bits he puts out.
Ipman – I think Ipman is one of the few producers who I’m constantly excited to do next. HUGELY underrated and insanely creative tunes.
Icicle – I don’t think anyone can deny Icicle’s mixdowns are possibly the best in the game. I’m insanely envious of the technical precision in every single one of his tunes and find that you can listen to his releases a year on without them seeming dated or overplayed or anything. I still listen to the BNC EP regularly.
You’re from pretty much the same ends as myself, Baitface and the other Thanet heads and we’ve often discussed the state of music around here on Facebook and the like. Do you think the “club culture” around here is thriving/non existent or too focused on one thing?
To be honest, I’m disappointed at the Kent scene for dubstep and bass music in general. Considering the sheer amount of talent in the county alone, people like J:Kenzo, Beezy, Content and the whole Seeerious crew all call this place home and yet there’s no home for their talent around here. I think club culture around here is dedicated to listening to the same tunes you heard on BBC Radio 1 the same day, hanging around with people you pretended to like from school and hoping for a ‘guest DJ slot’ from someone from TOWIE. It disappoints me so much!
So lets talk about Crunch, what should we be expecting from you now you’ve been picked up by them?
It’s still definitely early days with Crunch but I feel as though I can trust Ben wholeheartedly to represent my music and push it to a wider audience. I think it’s hugely important to make sure that, with labels, tunes have the right homes and anything I’ve released in the past has always been because I feel that it was the right place to put those tunes out through. With Verse and N-Type, we’re all sort of on the same level and on the same wavelength which allows me to be quite involved with the decisions involved with putting the tracks out and promoting them etc.
What’s set in stone at the moment with Crunch is a single in the next few months with ‘Carrion’ as the A side and a tune I don’t want to reveal too much about at this point on the flip. I’m also in talks about another release later this year but it’s early days yet.
Where do you want to take your music over the next two years or so?
Creatively I’d like to keep branching out, incorporating elements from other genres and bringing them to my 140 stuff. The last few months I’ve been really feeling a lot of techno, the big-room, Berlin style stuff and where I’m listening to a lot of that, I’ve been trying out new production tricks I’ve learnt from that end of the spectrum and incorporating them into my dubstep tunes.
I’d like to just keep pushing my production in general, get my track’s tighter and tighter, something I constantly strive for when I’m mixing down.
Mixwise, why did you choose the tunes you did? Is there a linear progression through the mix, or not?
With this mix, I sort of kept the theme of the previous features and made it more of a mixtape than a mix per se, spanning across different genres and the key tunes that led me to the sound I push now. There’s a few classics in there as well as stuff that’s comparitvely recent.
Any shouts or thanks?
Big up to N-Type, Ben Verse and Hatcha for supporting and pushing my tunes hard, out to Format, Wayfarer, Kanjira, Taiko, Subject and Slaven for being general badmen and big up Baitface, yourself and the rest of the Seeerious gang for pushing dubstep in this corner of the UK we call home!
“Black Hole” forthcoming on Wheel & Deal for Wheelers & Dealers Vol 2, should be out November/Early December
“Ware EP”on Decarhythm late November
“Carrion” with Ben Verse’s “One More Time” on the flip for Crunch Recordings out before the year’s over
“Antimatter/Parallax/Antimatter (Wayfarer Remix)” on Wheel & Deal early next year