Darren 'Merle' Thompson has been involved in the music scene since 1990 in which time he served his apprenticeship at the infamous InTerDance production studios, 'Dance Floor Studios' in the early 90's working alongside the likes of Aubrey, Lenny Dee, John Digweed & Mr C as a young studio hand.
Other experiences come from working in various record shops along the south coast such as Peach Flavour Records, Reflex Records, VIP Vinyl. And more recently as part of the management team at the outstanding Murge Recordings, and F-Tech Roots.
His influences come from an eclectic variety of electronic music from backroom grooves through to peak time madness including: Techno, Tech House, Deep House, Tribal, Breaks.
With quality releases already to date on various labels such as Nathan Coles & Terry Francis Wiggle off shoot label ‘Is This’ under the guise of Cactus Jack (along side with good friend, DJ & production sparring partner, Richie Collins), San Francisco's Household Digital, London's Right Nut Recordings, Murge Recordings, Stark Futures, Mighty Moog, and Sounds of Juan.
Merle’s production style is a blend of new technology and old techniques by harnessing the power of software like Reason, Logic and Pro Tools and combining it with more traditional analogue approaches. Taking each new production with an exploratory approach to sound design to which he then moulds into his unique style. “I usually start with an idea in my mind of want I hope to achieve, lay down the beats and then let the rest of the production evolve naturally.
"I absolutely love the freedom and flexibility that working with software gives me”.
Merle has hosted on popular radio stations in his time (Some legal and not so legal !) before taking the opportunity to play regular guest slots on Richie Collins ‘Pointblank FM’ Show (London). It inspired him to start hosting his own weekly show again on Jacks House & Brap FM which ran for over 3 years.
DJ duties have seen him spinning at some of the countries finest established nights such as Club UK, The Manor, Sterns, The House & Browns (Nottingham), London Universities Tour, Ministry of Sound, Cream Tour, Renaissance Tour, Mixmag Tour, Journeys By DJ Tour and Underworld.
Latest Releases (Not including compilation album releases)
*Cactus Jack (Merle, Richie Collins & James Harrison): Pictures (Is This/Wiggle)
*Cactus Jack (Merle, Richie Collins & James Harrison): Desumba (Is This/Wiggle)
*Cactus Jack (Merle, Richie Collins & James Harrison): Faces (Is This/Wiggle)
*Merle, Richie Collins & James Harrison: Perception (Sounds of Juan)
*Merle & Dan Cook: Sporks Away (Household Digital)
*Merle & Dan Cook: Back to the Club (Household Digital)
*House of Labelle: Some Kind of House 'Merle Remix' (Mighty Moog)
*Merle & Laurence Reed: Now or Never (Stark Futures Recordings)
*Merle & Laurence Reed: Time Difference (Stark Futures Recordings)
*Merle & Laurence Reed: Rob from the Old, Give to the Young (Stark Futures Recordings)
*Merle & Laurence Reed: Take Back an Hour (Stark Futures Recordings)