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Aslan Depot hosts weekly record nights

Explore the grooves of local culture at Record Nights every Saturday with Black Noise Records

DJ OG Neeks, also known as Nico Sanchez, founder of Black Noise Records, DJing a set at Record Nights hosted by Aslan Depot on Apr. 17, 2023, in Bellingham, Wash. Sanchez played at the Depot’s six-year anniversary on Feb. 17, 2024.. // Photo courtesy of Georgi Shillington

A unique partnership sprouted two years ago when Black Noise Records and Aslan Depot came together to collaborate on weekly record nights. Every Saturday at the Depot, a variety of different music is played, curated by a DJ from Black Noise.

“The collaboration just made sense, and it has been a regular thing ever since. Different hosts from the Black Noise family take turns, bringing their own style and flavor to the nights,” said Tim Thomas, general manager of Aslan Depot.

Black Noise Records, originally conceived as a label and event platform, found a physical home in downtown Bellingham three years ago when Nico Sanchez, the CEO and founder, jumped on the opportunity to make it its own record store. 

Sanchez is a Western Washington University alumnus and founded Black Noise Records during his time at the university. He began his journey by releasing music on Bandcamp, an online audio distribution platform, in collaboration with friends who shared similar musical interests.

Sanchez explained that the store aimed to fill a void in the community by providing a space for vinyl expression.

“I didn’t really feel like there was a community of musicians that were unified in making hip-hop and beats in the Bellingham area,” Sanchez said. “ So I started Black Noise Records as a name to put behind events I was doing. It was just a label at first that then turned into a record store.”

Black Noise is also interested in buying used to well-loved vinyl. They provide cash offers or in-store credit in exchange for both vinyl records and cassette tape collections.

The label collaborates with various artists, particularly in the realm of live hip-hop, showcasing a commitment to supporting and sourcing talent within the local music scene. 

Thomas expressed that when it comes to working with Black Noise as a record label, Sanchez helps Aslan Depot source live hip-hop talent, adding an extra layer of musical diversity to their events.

The collaboration extends beyond the weekly vinyl nights, with Black Noise and Aslan Depot organizing biannual record fairs. The record fairs, initiated by Sanchez, provide a platform for vendors to showcase their collections, creating a marketplace for vinyl enthusiasts to explore and discover hidden gems.

Isabella Garcia, also known as DJ WaxWitch, has a unique perspective as a vinyl DJ based in Seattle. Garcia highlighted the joy of connecting with people through music, sharing rare tracks and witnessing the audience experience the magic of sound.

“Vinyl allows me to create a sound story, a journey for the audience. It's not just about playing songs; it’s about curating an experience,” Garcia said.

Sanchez emphasized the creative freedom provided by the Depot and the positive experience of working with the establishment.

“Aslan lets us have creative control and do whatever we want. It's a beautiful and classy establishment with an awesome staff,” Sanchez said. “They give us the freedom to curate the music and events as we see fit, which is fantastic.”

Visit Aslan Depot on any Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m. to see DJs from Black Noise spinning at Record Nights.

Isabella Vandaveer

Isabella Vandaveer (she/her) is a city life reporter for The Front. She is a junior majoring in visual journalism and newly minoring in film. Outside the newsroom, you can find her skiing at Baker, drawing, or taking a long walk around her neighborhood. You can reach her at 

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