Ner\Ogris has been set up by Kai Neugebauer who you probably remember from Les Berrtas. He got company from singer Tino Claus who’s involved with Amnistia, TC75, MRDTC. They early this year released the debut album “I Am The Shadow – I Am The Light” on Dependent. The work is driven by retro-like EBM & Dark-Electro influences reminding legendary bands like Skinny Puppy and Yelworc… The power of the production emerges from bombastic drum sections, Industrial sound treatments and dark atmospheres. I talked with the German duo about this promising debut.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: Both of you are experienced artists active in Electronic music for years. How did you get in touch with each other and where did the need come from to set up a new project? What does Ner/Ogris stands for by the way?
tinoC: We met the first time in 2014 at a Tommi Stumpff show. We talked about the ‘good-old days’ and had some fun. We have been in contact since then and did remixes for each other. In 2021 Kai sent a couple of instrumental tracks to get some feedback. His idea was to release an instrumental album. I had an idea of one of the tracks, asked if I should try something, got a GO and 90 minutes later I sent a vocal demo for “Shadowlight” to Kai.
kaiN: I was blown away, because I never thought that vocals fit into that song. And of course I asked Tino if he might want to try some more songs. At the end we had 6 songs. It was more than obvious that we could not call it a ‘featuring’… Ner\Ogris was born. This was in February 2022. The meaning of Ner\Ogris is simply Nero for black and Gris for grey. That’s it –no mystical meaning.
Q: I noticed you speak about Ner/Ogris as ‘always about contrasts and opposites’. What are these contrasts all about and how do you reflect it in your sound and lyrical content?
tinoC: First of all the contrast is that we both have our own ‘playground’ in the project. kaiN is the music and I am the voice. We don’t have the same age so our influences are different. We like the same artists but we have some addictions to artists the other will never listen too. So the base is quiet interesting and a great seed for creativity.
kaiN: The second point is that the album was not planed to the songs where there and tinoC added his vocals to an almost finished painting in some ways. We did not change anything on the tracks. This is (maybe) a bit unusual but this was a great challenge for us.
Q: The theme of contrast is clearly related in the album title “I Am The Shadow – I Am The Light” but what is the deeper significance of the title? And how did this album took shape?
tinoC: The name of the album is one line from the track “Shadowlight”. We called the album like the track but the label asked to name it “I Am The Shadow – I Am The Light”. And they were right. A strong name that reflects our philosophy. Sometimes the label guys have good ideas 😉
Q: I noticed a very strong, powerful, and overwhelming, ‘dark atmospheric’ side running through the composition which sometimes remind me a bit of early Canadian EBM formations. Can you give us more insight about the sound properly speaking and eventually influences/references?
kaiN: My influence is of course Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, The Tear Garden, Schnitt 8 and all the other Belgian, American or European bands of the 90s. That’s what I grew up with. I absorbed all those songs and it’s obvious that it has to come out again. Maybe the sound is like that because I’ve been collecting studio equipment since the 90s and of course I use it. That makes for this exciting mixture of old, perhaps familiar sounds and fresh sounds from modern DAWs.
Q: The album is also available as a special edition featuring an extra disc. What is the bonus of this extra disc all about and how did the selection of the songs for this bonus disc happened?
tinoC: To be honest… the label deal came very fast and was a big surprise. We did not think about the possibility of a release at Dependent. But when Dependent asked for songs for a special edition we had not so much material… ok we had a bunch of instrumentals but we thought that an instrumental bonus disc is maybe not sexy for most of the people. So we decided to record vocals for at least 2 songs. And here we are now with a bonus disc. Our label says that the tracks of the bonus disc are very good, so you guys should give it a try.
Q: I noticed you played your first concerts so what have been your experiences and reactions? How does it feel to go on stage with a ‘new’ project and what brings the future considering live shows, new songs, remixes, clips etc..?
tinoC: We both are active in other bands so it is exciting to bring Ner\Ogris on stage. We are a bit nervous of course but we are no newbies. We believe that the concert will be as good as possible for us. And we hope and believe that all will work properly.
kaiN: Playing live and having a direct line to the fans is the greatest thing. We really want to do that. Besides the concert on 18.3.2023 in Naumburg/Saale, the NCN Festival in Deutzen on 31.8.2023 is also confirmed for this year. I’m currently working on a few remixes for a few bands I’m friends with, and of course I’m already working on more material.
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