Back in 2012, we interviewed a young Irish producer called Alice, a Dundalk native who was making some wicked chilled out IDM/electronica. Six years later Thomas McConville is still making wicked chilled out IDM/electronica but is now using his surname for production duties, and joining very good company by releasing on Apollo Records, a sub label of the legendary R&S Records.
A classically trained composer, currently studying for a PHD in Music at Queen’s University Belfast, mcconville’s music explores the juxtaposition of the human voice enmeshed within a digital pop context.
As he states, “I used to be so concerned about using ‘fake’ sounds when I was writing music and usually worked by writing acoustic music or taking samples from real world things and manipulating it. But now I want it to be obvious that the sounds are made in a computer, just because that’s the time we’re living in, and it would be silly to ignore it.”
You can hear this classical music training throughout the EP, most obviously on the track music for piano, cello and violin but also within the composition of his tunes – you can hear a musician’s influence in each. Tracks such as popsongsforpornstars and technicolursupersong see him play with strange timings, as floating synths hover under chopped glitchy samples.
“For technicoloursupersong I wanted to make something with elements taken from commercial synth pop, then cut it up and try and make something interesting that was obviously digital and fake”, he explains. “I started by writing these quite in your face melodies with really colourful backgrounds and then stripped it back, making the harmony and percussion section into one unit.”
With the longest track also clocking in at 2.40, he ensures that he leaves you wanting more, while not repeating himself. Short but very sweet.
Really love this kind of stuff and I’m delighted to see labels such as Apollo pick him up, because he’s undoubtedly only going to go from strength to strength.
mcconville EP is out now as a digital release via Apollo Records and can be picked up through his Bandcamp below.