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Goa based party animal and artist extraordinaire Nirmal talks punk concerts, metal sculptures, flying and rippin' it up on a High Tide!
Reported by Jessica Alici
Submitted 13-12-21 16:20
Nirmal is a Scottish Psy-Trance producer and DJ now residing in Goa! Having collaborated with some huge psy artists such as Tristan, JourneyOM, AJJA, Mad Maxx and Aphid Moon we thought an interview with this prolific party animal was well overdue! With his fresh EP ‘High Tide’ landing on December 24th on Free-Spirit Records now seemed like the perfect time to nab him, so we did!
Where were you born, and do you feel your childhood shaped who you are today?
I was born in a prefabricated house in Glasgow which did influence me, ultimately just to be myself - I left it in the past.
What is your earliest memory of music?
Lulu and Donavan. But I liked glam rock when I was a wee guy. Later, I was really into punk and I would smash through walls to get to the punk concerts (literally).
Who were your favourite punk bands?
Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash, Sex Pistols and Rezillos.
What was one of the most memorable punk concerts that you attended and why?
We used to go to the Glasgow Apollo to see punk bands. We never had any money so we never had tickets, but where there’s a will there’s a way ;-) (Here’s a tip: if you get 10 people to run at a free door it will spring open and you can run in. The only thing is if the Glasgow bouncer caught you then you’d get a serious beating!) Anyway, that was one way we got in, but on the most memorable night we climbed up 3 stories and went in through a wee window to a stairway. We went down but the bouncers were there so up we went back up again and found ourselves on the top floor. We could hear the music through the wall. So, there was only one thing for it. We found a mic stand and big Finley smashed into the wall with it. The hole was only small, but we squeezed through and pushed our way down to the front screaming! It was a Stranglers gig. JJB RIP.
Talk us through your musical career, how did it start?
I was happily dancing and partying in Goa, then after a few years I started to realise the music was only taking me so far. I decided to try DJing and take it all a bit further. In 2004 I closed the legendary Boom Festival and after that I realised to go even further, I would need to make my own music, so I started Shanti Shanti.
Where did your Artist name Nirmal come from?
I was given the Indian name Nirmal 41 years ago by Osho, and I decided to use it as my Artist name also.
What has been the highlight of your musical career so far?
I closed the legendary Boom Festival and was absolutely buzzing in more ways than one! ;-)
What has been a lowlight of your musical career?
There have not been any lowlights.
What is your studio set up? Do you follow a set process when creating a track?
My studio is my temple. I use Adam S2X Monitors, Nord Lead 4 Stage, Virus Snow, Mini Mac custom made, RME sound card, Fender electric guitar with Rode and Sure Microphones. I write the tracks by going down the timeline, but I have also done collaborations where I’ve just made loads of sounds and stretched them out later, both ways of working are good for me.
You have a release called ‘High Tide’ out soon on Free-Spirit Records. Talk us through the track, how did it come about?
The ‘High Tide’ EP came about when I was in Turkey last year. I had made a basic studio set up in the Trip trail bus and got inspired with 360-degree vision of beautiful Turkey. I had been planning to work on the tracks for a while, but something else always came up. Then the pandemic hit which in a way was great as I could just sit and make music. Wow! Every cloud has a silver lining.
When did you first hear about Free-Spirit Records?
I first heard of Free-Spirit Records when I met Jay the label manager in Brazil. We had a great time and since then we’ve partied together all around the world.
Which artist would you most like to collaborate with?
I would like to collaborate with Ollie Wisdom, just so he would have to come back here.
What are your hobbies or biggest loves in life other than music?
I make metal sculptures and burn them above the DJ at my parties. I have also built a car with the body entirely welded from 3-inch metal discs - it gives it a fish scale effect and was mostly done by eye; it’s a Goa family car and I take my son to school in it. I also love surfing.
Have you ever suffered with ‘writer’s block’? If so, how do you move through it?
I do many other artistic and practical things so if I don’t feel like making music then I will probably fix the roof or make some sculptures. If there are waves then I surf the river mouth at high tide. For me, having a good balance of music production and metal sculpture is enough; that, along with the Goa lifestyle of swimming, riding the bike and partying is enough to ensure I stay in full power and stay happy creating.
Do you think artistry can be taught?
I believe we are all artists. When we show an interest in creating, then teaching can take us in specific directions.
Tell us about one of your most magical memories
Back in the day in Goa a huge group of people would gather for an annual party on the Anjuna Beach. I had damaged my leg so I was having to dance on just one leg for most of that season. At some point during the night my friend was intoxicated and she spilt the magic potion down her. She shouted for me to help lick it off so it would not be wasted. That, combined with my original intake meant that I was the one who got well and truly wasted. I was turbocharged and dancing in front of the speaker. Then I jumped up on top of the speaker and danced so hard I just flew off! I was buzzing so much I didn’t notice a thing! It was only when I tried to do it again that people tried to stop me! Those were proper parties! At least someone would lose it at every party.
If you could have one super-power what would it be and why?
I already have one – the ability to fly.
If you had to choose one Desert Island Disc what would be it be? Is there an album that had a big impact on you or an album that you re-played numerous times because you loved it so much?
‘LSD’ by Simon Posford. I played it every morning and danced on the bed. The other big one was Man with No Name. I remember the record melted on the turntable in the garden on a hot summer’s day in Scotland.
What are your hopes, dreams and plans for the future?
No hopes, dreams or plans for the future - the future is now.
Do you have a mantra you like to live your life by or any wise words you want to pass on to the readers?
Go with the flow and when the big waves come rip ‘em up on a ‘High Tide’ ;-)
To buy Nirmal's new EP 'High Tide' on Free-Spirit Records click here:
To follow Nirmal click here:
To follow Free-Spirit Records click here:
To follow Killah Mastering Studios click here:
Images courtesy of Nirmal Raj. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By Jessica Alici:
New Techno Rising Star DKLUB talks about his debut release White Rock on Onhcet Republik!
PAN expands on many things including his new album 'Hyperbolic Oxymoron' due for release on the 14th April 2022 on PsyWorld Records!
Psibindi talks all things music including her new collaborative EP 'Sentient Rays' on Aphid Records, her band Sentience Machine and 10 years of Psy-Sisters!
N-Kore talks Jean-Michel Jarre, unfinished tracks and fatherhood!
Celebrating International Women’s Day and Ten Years of Psy-Sisters with Amaluna
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.