Visiting Willem Twee Studios

This captures my interest.

BL_K NOISE // 2020



Surachai – Come, Deathless

Come, Deathless was released 3 months ago and I wanted to share something I haven’t in previous write-ups. I have written about how each album was recorded, produced, visualized, and manufactured on TRASH_AUDIO. Most of the technical process and practices remain the same for Come, Deathless and they were covered in some interviews linked below. There was no singular point in sharing, they were only one perspective on how to work within the confines of sound and physical formats, though I hope you found them helpful. 

One aspect I haven’t shared in the past is what my actual sessions look like. To explain briefly, I record everything into Pro Tools, edited, filled in gaps, printed effects, mixed and bounced. I worked with only audio files, all at 96kHz or higher, so the vinyl version stayed at a minimum of 96kHz until the end. If you listen closely on a competent system, which I hope you have, you’d be able to tell the difference. Some tracks are unnecessarily complex and some are deceivingly simple.

I want to thank you for the support and enthusiasm I’ve received directly or indirectly – it means a lot. If I’m being honest, I have a hard time accepting praise, talking about myself, and will happily divert a conversation away from me because of my nature to be invisible. I confronted myself with an image of my face on Come, Deathless and still am uncomfortable with the idea – but how much do we grow in comfort?

The Shedding of Useful Skin
Empress of the Starved Lung (Fest. K. Joseph Karam)
Leaning Into Pain
Casts of Broken Timelines
Deciphering Whispers from Wind
An Unfamiliar Reflection Activates a Gate (Feat. Aaron Harris)
Articulation of a Dead Tongue
An Abandoned Throne in the Hall of Extinction
Splinters and Thvrst
A Sign From Decay
Cadences of Sleeplessness
Time Splits Ever End (feat. Sarah Kendall)

Mike McGrath / Muffwiggler

Mike McGrath of Muffwiggler has passed. Mike is the connective tissue that bound almost every modular user when information was scarce. He created a community on Muffwiggler that TRASH_AUDIO leeched off of to take it from forums to the real world around the US. Mike traveled a lot for work, and he mentioned he was coming to Chicago in 2009. At that point we had several TRASH_AUDIO synth meets and a small regular crew. I invited whoever was interested in welcoming the overlord of the synthesizer community to a BBQ at my place and we were met with one of the kindest and smartest people to grace our lives. I could tell Mike was a giver by how he tried to repay the BBQ over the years but no matter how smart he was, he never realized he paid it by just showing up. 

His contributions to and maintenance of information cannot be overstated. His reach and ability to connect people cannot be overstated. 

Mike is scattered throughout a lot of our old videos. Here is just one…

Surachai – Deciphering Whispers from Wind

Deciphering Whispers from Wind, the third and final video by Simona Noreik from Come, Deathless. Empress of the Starved Lung and An Unfamiliar Reflection Activates a Gate can be found below. My words cannot express the beauty contained in her videos or fulfillment I feel when Simona interprets my work, and so I won’t try.


“Bound by a fearless curiosity for sound design and experimentation, composer and location audio engineer Surachai explores the extremities of metal music through a modular lens. Native Instruments has long played a key guiding role; evolving his sonic aesthetic via a combination of software sound libraries and virtual environments.”

– More at Native Instruments

BL__K NOISE // 10 Year Anniversary

Peder Mannerfelt
Ital Tek
Richard Devine
Anthony Baldino

January 25th
Lodge Room Highland Park
104 N. Ave 56,
Los Angeles, California 90042

Tickets: See Tickets
Event Page: Facebook

We’re proud to announce two inspiring artists coming in from Europe exclusively for the evening to commemorate BL__K NOISE // 10 Year Anniversary. Conjured from Sweden, Peder Mannerfelt brings his dependably unpredictable and experimental dance sound, drawing from his constant stream of releases. Imported from the UK, Ital Tek creates space and constructs environments from a reliable vocabulary based off of bending synths and solid earthy patterns.
BL_K Noise residents showcase recent material to round out the night: Richard Devine coming off his Sort\Lave album on Planet Mu (OFFICIAL) / venetian snares’ label Timesig, Hypoxia’s unveiling deep ambient shadow works that were recently contributed to Adult Swim’s Fever Dreams Compilation, and Surachai celebrating the album release of Come, Deathless – the 10th release on BL_K NOISE on its 10th year anniversary.

Anthony Baldino opens the night with a modular set dense with sonic vocabulary and hints at his coming release on Methlab Recordings.


BL__K NOISE celebrates its 10th anniversary of live audiovisual performances. An expansion of reach and the dismantling of sonic architecture. Every year we’ve shed our skin to unveil something inside of us, to become something more. Precise, innovative, and demanding.

We hope to see you on January 25th. We thank you for trusting us for the past decade. We have existed because of people like you, who are like us. people who want to be introduced to something new, something that lingers, haunts and inspires.

BL_K NOISE: Raster Showcase

Excited to announce we at BL_K NOISE will be holding our 9th annual Audio Visual show. This year hosting a showcase for a label I have highly admired for many years – Raster (formally known as Raster-Noton). Some new faces will be performing, as well as familiar acts within our fam will be on stage this year January 27th. Early bird tickets are on sale NOW!
BL__K NOISE // Raster Label Showcase


Performances by:
Grischa Lichtenberger


Belief Defect
[Raster U.S Debut]

Richard Devine (Visuals by: OKTAform)
[Live generative modular mayhem with custom visuals by Oktaform]


[Plangent Records]

Surachai – Asymmetry Codex / Temple of the Weakening Sun

It is always a guess, an experiment and an art to try to capture a glimpse of it. All the equipment, time and obsession is an attempt to translate and capture an emotion I can come back to and evoke. The production and release of Asymmetry Codex and Temple of the Weakening Sun was a way to process then archive several versions of loss – it has served its purpose with me – I hope it can somehow find a way to serve you.

The album was released a week early on Bandcamp, Friday September 22, the autumn equinox, because there are actually no rules to this and we’re flexible to do what feels right. Streaming services will activate September 29th and vinyl will begin shipping early/mid November. All Wax Mage Editions and Test Pressing Editions have sold out, Standard Editions are in stock and everything will ship early/mid November. Every record, shirt, and piece of merch has been shipped personally, I’ve read every e-mail and note you’ve sent, and know many of you by name from the orders. Thank you for supporting a challenging artist to follow and keeping me busy with something I love doing.

Alessandro Cortini, Richard Devine, Hypoxia, and Surachai will be playing in at Berghain in Berlin, October 5th. More shows and announcements coming soon. Hope to see you around.

The centerpiece of Asymmetry Codex is the Nord Modular G2. I acquired the G2 five years ago and was seduced by its clarity, dynamics, and general smooth sonics. For months I found distinct sounds that I could pinpoint to some of my favorite albums, though most of the time was spent scanning and dissecting several hundred patches that Richard bestowed upon me. I made dozens of terrible patches and while I admired the G2 and was happy to have it, I knew it wasn’t something I was ready for at that very moment and so, for the next few years, I loaned it out to people. In those years, I released albums that focused around the modular synthesizer and various hardware pieces, and became increasingly aware of how saturated the modular scene was becoming. I made a conscious decision to move away from my hardware modular trajectory and to finally become acquainted and focused on the Nord Modular G2. After a lot of studying and programming dozens of patches between a few songs, I recorded the G2 into the Thermionic Culture Vulture Super 15 and that fed into a RME UFX. Aside from the recording signal chain, Asymmetry Codex is mostly digitally composed and Temple of the Weakening Sun was created with analog tools.

Arrangement & Mixing
After all the patterns and stems were recorded to audio, I arranged them into Pro Tools. All of the editing was done with dozens of plug-ins including: Valhalla DSP, INA-GRM, Sound Toys, Izotope, Soundhack, UAD and a few Richard told me to keep under wraps. I recorded and mixed the album using a pair of headphones that I was not familiar with which is a direct result of the heavy bass – something I normally wouldn’t have done but have grown to love. I have to thank Josh Eustis, Deru, Richard Devine, and John Hughes for guidance and advice and insight into my own mixes.

Shawn Hatfield of Audible Oddities helped me tame these two projects into one cohesive experience. My mixes weren’t in the best form and we worked together to get the album to sound as rich as it could.

“We approached the mastering a little differently for Asymmetry Codex / Temple of the Weakening Sun, as the first set of mixes I mastered ended up shedding some light on an unintended overall aesthetic in the mix that was much too bright. Rather than apply heavy processing to reverse that, Surachai went back to the mix and returned with a new set of files. From there, the process began in typical fashion with gear selection and careful gain staging. I experimented with several different pieces of equipment and order, and eventually chose a mostly tube-based setup for this record. The main pieces were a Knif Vari-Mu II compressor, Hendyamps Michelangelo EQ, and a tube preamp called a Creamliner 2 from Sonicfarm. With these main pieces, I carefully balanced and enhanced the overall frequency range, while controlling various areas of both micro and macro dynamics to give them that final glue and polish. The various tube stages driven at carefully chosen levels imparted really sweet additional harmonics that I felt helped the many small detailed layers that live and breathe in each song. This was all captured cleanly into the workstation where the final limiting was applied.” – Shawn Hatfield.

Francis Kmiecik and I storyboarded a video for Asymmetry Codex and as time was running out, and our lives became increasingly busy – we decided to roll it back to a few shots for the album artwork. We shot on a stage in Portland, OR with Katrina Mishler who was tolerant, patient with us and overall a pleasure to work with. Francis spent the weeks leading up to the shoot designing the set pieces and we used some of his chainmail jewelry he created but never utilized. The wardrobe and jewelry was provided by Hvnter Gvtherer. Laura of Hvnter Gvtherer has a visual and sensory aesthetic that I subconsciously envision when planning out images. I knew from Francis’ work, the shots would be very studio and staged and clean, so I enlisted Moe Espinosa to take our selects and run it through a circuit bent video machine. Anj Puglise and I then overlapped the studio images and the pixelated assets and pieced it all together. Essentially the same core team that worked on Temple of the Weakening Sun created the visuals for Asymmetry Codex. Overall, two covers were chosen, an elegant version to grace the physical vinyl copy and a harsh digital treatment for the digital version.

Lacquering and Vinyl
Off of the recommendation of Joshua Eustis and former Hefty label owner John Hughes, I got in touch with Jason Ward of Chicago Mastering Service and will say that this is the best possible sounding record it can be. Gottagroov handled the pressing and printing and as always, its always beautiful to hold a complete project in your hands. Wax Mage does what they do and created some of the best looking records I’ve ever seen, the pictures don’t do it justice and only some of you will be lucky enough to see it in its full glory.

Temple of the Weakening Sun
For more information about the creation of the soundtrack and video go: HERE

Asymmetry Codex / Temple of the Weakening Sun
Hvnter Gvtherer
Audible Oddities
Chicago Mastering Service
Temple of the Weakening Sun Production Notes

Havin a summer

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