Ambient world-building from Mysteries Of The Deep.
Grant Aaron runs Mysteries Of The Deep, a label and collective dedicated to the full potential of ambient music—as record, as DJ mix, as event series and experience. With records from artists like Certain Creatures, Birds Of Prey and Nathaniel Young, the label has outlined an expansive and immersive style of ambient: it's not background music, but music that surrounds and envelops you.
Before it was a label, Mysteries Of The Deep was a mix series. With an extensive catalogue of mixes—over 120 entries going back over eight years—Mysteries Of The Deep is one of the finest examples of ambient storytelling you'll find anywhere. Ambient DJing is an artform all its own, an intuitive way of blending moods, feelings and sounds that takes a totally different mindset to a dance set.
Aaron's RA Podcast, with selections from artists like Neel, Forest Management and ASC & Sam KDC, is a prime example of the kind of world-building that Mysteries Of The Deep excels at. He pulls you into a room of gauzy yet precise sound, of pillowy soundscapes and intentional melodies, where the borders between songs blur—like perfect beat-matching, but (mostly) beatless.
What have you been up to recently?
The label has been very active, with several new albums, EPs and an expansive compilation series. A portion of sales going to support BLM and related causes.
How and where was the mix recorded?
This mix was recorded at my home studio in Brooklyn, using Pioneer XDJ-700s, a DJM900NXS mixer and an Eventide H9 effects processor.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
Similar to some of my previous mixes, this one takes on a cinematic quality. It's composed of mostly new tracks, shifts between darkness and light and is best experienced in headphones.
You run an ambient-leaning collective. To you, what does ambient mean and how does it differ from dance music?
Ambient is a mood. It's visceral and contemplative. Dance music exists in a similar space, though I connect to it in a very different way. It's the extension of my extroverted self.
How has the pandemic changed your relationship with electronic music?
The social aspects have obviously changed, and we're all just trying to adjust to this new landscape. I'm still very much engaged in buying and supporting music, though my listening habits have been more intentional these days. Reflecting and searching for inspiration in the midst of so much uncertainty.
What are you up to next?
Dedicating time to finally completing a solo album that's been brewing for far too long.