Fast-rising Glaswegian producer Boom Merchant is a man whose sound is hard to pigeonhole.
His tracks blend layered melodic elements and complex percussion programming, and have attracted the attention of some elite names in house and techno music, receiving remix treatment from Dave Seaman, Pole Folder and Silicone Soul…
Hi Boom Merchant, can you start by telling us about yourself, and how you first got into electronic music?
How’s it going? ! I’ve been based in Glasgow for almost 15 years now, but I’m originally from just across the water in Ireland, so in Glasgow talk I’m a refuweegie! I think I first started to have a real interest in electronic music when I was about 13 or 14. It became an obsession really quickly. If I was out and about I’d have my headphones in constantly, and if I was in the house I’d be on the computer looking for new sounds, or playing them on the Hifi. It must have been a nightmare for my parents, but they put up with it. Fair play to them! Back then I loved the total freedom of expression in electronic music, and the seemingly endless sonic possibilities that it offered, and that’s still true today.
Could you talk us through your new track “Two Tribes”, and the EP that it features on?
I stumbled onto two really beautiful vocal samples. One was from Polynesia and one from East Africa. They were from opposite sides of the planet, but they shared this really uplifting, carefree and euphoric spirit. I chopped them, processed them with a lot of effects and resequenced to merge them together into one story. Most of the bass and synth tones come from my Moog, and the groove comes mostly from my Elektron machines. I wrote the percussion to sound tough and distorted, but also light to compliment the vocal.
The remix is by Graeme Reedie of Silicone Soul. In my opinion SS are amongst Glasgow’s finest musical exports, and they’ve certainly been an influence. They bring their really unique dark psychedelic house sound to Tribal Pulse and I feel very lucky to have them on board. The remix is very stripped back, built around a space piano concept and some really beautiful resonant electronic bleeps. Together the tracks make a really solid, very balanced package.
How long have you been running your label Tribal Pulse, and which other artists have you signed tracks or had remixes from?
Tribal pulse has been on the go for over 6 years now, and as well as releasing music we run underground parties here in Glasgow and sometimes in other places too. We celebrated our last couple of birthdays with events inside an ancient castle on the East coast of Scotland, and we’ve got another event planned there for August 2020. We have been lucky enough to work with a number of very talented musical minds over the years. Dave Seaman and Pole Folder stand out as some of the more high profile remixers. The label relies on a growing family of artists situated all over the world, from Mexico to Japan. The next few EPs will feature work from Johnny Kaos, Acidulant, and myself, as well as an exciting Canadian producer called Dark Arps, and as always we’re focusing on really engaging and hypnotic sounds.
Which other labels have you worked with, and what’s been your proudest moment to date?
I’ve worked with a lot of labels over the years like Asymmetric, Resopal Schallware, Motech and most recently Mirabilis. I’m not sure about my proudest moment. I love what I do and it all merges into one big happy process in my mind, but I guess at the end of a set when someone comes up and says “I really needed that” or something along those lines, it’s always a nice moment. Im proud of all the music I’ve released and the places I’ve been given the opportunity to bring my music. It’s been a really crazy and enjoyable journey.
Have there been any big-name DJ’s supporting your music, and who is the DJ/producer that inspires you the most?
Lots of big names have supported my music, which I am grateful for, but I don’t care about that stuff too much. My music is written as a kind of psychedelic tool. It’s written to keep me happy, but if it gives someone else a spring in their step on a shitty day, that’s more valuable than whatever big name DJ playing it.
Off the top of my head, Dysart, Paride Saraceni, DJ Deep, Kamikazee Space Programme and Cain from the highlands in Scotland are producers who are making stuff that really inspires me right now. My musical family are a big influence on me too, and people like Johnny Kaos in Italy and Fragile X in Glasgow are always pushing things forward with new ideas.
What’s next in your schedule after the Two Tribes release hits stores on the 16th of December?
The vast majority of the studio work I’ve been doing this year is still under wraps. I’ve spent most of the year in Germany working on a huge collaborative project with my buddy Welticke in Cologne. We’re developing a new futurist analogue techno sound, and all will be revealed soon!
Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers about?
I’ve got European dates and a small Asia tour to announce in 2020, but before then Tribal Pulse is having a crazy 7-hour celebration of underground music on New Year’s Eve at Rost in Glasgow, with Silicone Soul and a host of other Glasgow talent. I’ll be playing a 3hr closing set, so it’ll be no holds barred. Be there!
You can pick up a copy of Boom Merchant’s new release on Tribal Pulse from HERE