With only a year into the DJ game, Aaron Merges is the epitome of a rookie, but don't let that fool you. Merges has taken to the craft like a fish to water. He's a natural talent with a deft ear and the required amount of hustle that comes with slinging tunes. Merges has most often been seen at events for Treehouse Collective at Green Elephant and House of Champagne's rooftop parties at Nora, but his name has been popping up at an increasing number of parties and venues, including an upcoming appearance at the new mega club in the Cedars Project Ai.
For this week's mixtape, Merges explores a solid hour of melodic techno that leans heavy on the introspective side of tech while still setting the pace for the dance floor.
How long have you been in the DJ game and what drew you in? Where did you get started?
Just over one year. Good music can make a positive impact on any situation and I wanted to learn the art of the DJ to be able to provide uplifting and thought-provoking experiences for anyone who listens. I had the opportunity to listen to some great music while living in Spain in 2008 and traveling throughout Europe. There is no place quite like Berlin.
How did you link up and become member of Treehouse Collective?
I crossed paths with Treehouse Collective resident Samuel Waxin through our day jobs. Sammy and I used to work at the same hospital in the operating room together. He was always jamming out in between surgeries with some good house music in little hidden spots, and we've been friends since. He asked me to play at Dallas Drum Djam last year and have been rotating through on Wednesday nights and their new Thursday. You are so used to hearing garbage music played in the operating room all day, and it was refreshing to walk by Sammy's spot and hear some quality tunes as he prepared to put the next patient to sleep.
You have been a regular face behind the decks for House of Champagne events. How did that come about?
House of Champagne head honcho Shams (featured in mixtape last September) extended an invitation to play on the rooftop at Nora last year and I’ve been honored to play there several times. The House of Champagne hosts a great vibe and it’s pretty awesome to see all the incredibly talented DJs in Dallas come out to share their tunes with everyone.
What was the theme of the mix and how was it made?
I made this mix on the Pioneer XDJ-RX. My intention was to provide an experience that kept your foot tapping and your mind wondering. I wanted something that was a little deeper and mysterious but balanced with some uplifting elements.
Where do you dig for tracks?
Dallas is home to so many talented artists, and it’s great to be able to hear quality music every week. I follow a lot of producers/labels and also share music with friends in Germany, Spain and Central America. I listen to just about anything I can until my ear picks up the elements I’m attracted to.
What has been your most significant musical experience of the past year?
Envision Festival in Costa Rica. I get a lot of inspiration from nature, and I can’t think of a better setting for letting go and having that special connection to music than in Costa Rica. Envision hosts some talented artists each year, and it’s a pretty amazing experience on the beach at the edge of the rain forest. There’s just something special about the energy there that inspires me to create.
Do you have a preferred genre?
Melodic house and techno/progressive house. I really enjoy the sunrise/sunset experiences and music that is a bit slower, melodic and ethereal for those special moments when the new day begins or when the day transitions to night.
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What music catches your ear outside of dance music?
I like listening to classical music, including Mozart and Beethoven. Had a chance to visit some of the opera houses in Prague. It's soothing to listen to the complexity, sophistication and ingenious of some of those composers.
DJs get into this craft for all kinds of reasons. What drives you to pursue the art of moving people with music?
Music inspires, it heals us, and it connects us. Music allows us to express ourselves and our emotions in a special way. A true DJ doesn’t just play club bangers; they take you on a journey and allow you to get lost in the moment and step away from the noise, the grind, or anything else you might be facing to find that strength and inspiration within yourself. I hope to provide that experience for those that tune in.
What gigs do you have coming up?
On Aug. 10, I will be with the House of Champagne crew on the roof of Nora. My friend Zayn hosts events through his group Sunday Brunch Productions and is starting a rotating event, Techno Tea Party. I'm playing for him on the 12th for his event at the new club Project Ai. Playing Green Elephant for Treehouse Collective Aug. 6 and back at Beauty Bar on Aug. 19.
Fairchild - Gaia
Darlyn Vlys- Faux Semblants
Pleasurekraft- Corpse Reviver Number 1 (Original Mix)
Beatamines- Osiris (Township Rebellion Remix)
Stan Kolev- Sweven
Giorgia Angiuli- Hidden Garden
Saive, Kleiber- Zibal (Original Mix)
Durante, Amtrac- Pray
Rauschhaus, Peer Kusiv- Triton