WORDS: Alex Caslano
“The main aim of the club night was always to bring quality music to Glasgow; music that was a bit different to what usually goes on here.” Attempting something new on Glasgow's club scene usually goes one of two ways, but Kyle Thompson aka Boom Merchant has made it his personal mission over the last two years to see that his flagship party, Tribal Pulse, makes an impact. Judging by the devoted crowd who continue to fill his dancefloor, it’s been a successful mission. “It’s really snowballed; we have a solid fan base supporting the records and a great family of people showing up at the events” he tells us.
Also managing a label of the same name, Tribal Pulse is presented as the full package, with the parties reflecting the deep, pulsing house and techno which typifies the label’s sound. But it’s not just the music which completes the dancefloor experience: “the soundsystem is always top notch and we work with some really talented visual artists who do a great job of making the place look superb” confirms Kyle. With futuristic installations and custom sound, it’s no wonder the night has become so popular. There’s even a pretty special afterhours for those who can go the distance…
Check out Boom Merchant’s recent mix for Motech Radio below, as well as his new remix of Affani and an interview in which we talk more about the rise of Tribal Pulse:
SG: It’s been almost two years since Tribal Pulse launched in Glasgow and it seems like you’ve amassed quite a loyal following; how would you describe the journey so far and what do you think has kept people coming back to your parties?
Boom Merchant: It’s been insane! It’s really snowballed and we have a solid fan base supporting the records, and a great family of people showing up at the events. The main aim of the club night was always to bring quality music to Glasgow; music that was a bit different to what usually goes on here, centred around the label’s sound: futuristic, engaging house and techno. Music that makes your hair stand on end! Every act we’ve had in has really taken the roof off and the music on offer has been fantastic. Lots of other things factor in though: the soundsystem is always top notch and we work with some really talented visual artists who do a great job of making the place look superb. Also, the vibe is really special - like a tribe! I think the family aspect keeps people coming back.
SG: In addition to the regular events, you also run a successful independent label under the same name; would you describe Tribal Pulse as a labour of love? Has it been difficult to stay on top of everything?
Boom Merchant: It’s definitely a labour of love! Things started off at a crazy rate and for a long time it felt as though it was impossible to keep up with everything, but you get better at handling these things with time. I try to take things at my own pace. We’ve got some fantastic artists on board from all over the world. The focus has always been on releasing top quality music; tracks that really speak. This isn’t something you can rush!
SG: You’re of course an accomplished producer in your own right with a series of EPs under your belt; what have you been working on recently and where do your aspirations lie as an artist?
Boom Merchant: I’ve been finishing up a few projects recently. My next remix for Motech Records is due out in April. It’s a track by Affani from Barcelona and DJ 3000 also did a remix. The original has a really Arabic/ethnic feel, so I’ve added some heavier elements and a more percussive edge. Then in May my track ‘Surge’ will be released on Tribal Pulse as one side of our next EP, which is really exciting for me because it’s a track I really love, and I think others will too! My aspirations are basically to continue to enjoy making music, playing music and giving people something they enjoy. I’m off to play in Italy next week, and I’d like to do a lot more travelling. I’ve got a lot of energy just now, so we’ll see what happens!
SG: We’ve visited a number of your events and the atmosphere is always incredible; coupled with the visuals, it made for a really memorable experience. You'll be at the Art School this Saturday, how will you be utilising the space and what can we expect from your guest Sandrien?
Boom Merchant: It’s going to be intense! Sandrien is one of the most clinical DJs I’ve ever seen, so expect hours and hours of quality mixing and some heavy grooves, but some really intricate music also. The Art School is a great space, and we’ve got some cool ideas on how to set the place up. WeAreTallOrder are coming through from Edinburgh with some really interesting ways to light the place up. I’m really excited about the whole thing. If Sandrien’s first visit to Scotland last August is anything to go by, it’s going to be something really special.