‘Click Interview’ with Stahlnebel & Black Selket: ‘This Pandemic Gave Us An Extra Boost’

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Stahlnebel and Black Selket met via Myspace in early 2008 for a remix contest. Sander Kapper (Black Selket) from The Netherlands was looking for a singer while Ralph Neuhaus from germany (Stahlnebel) was in search for someone to make the music. Stahlnebel & Black Selket was born and started to release albums. The sound is not just Dark-Electro driven, but clearly empowered by Trance leads and other Technoid elements. It makes the originality of this formation, which has a very distinguishable sound.  The newest full length “The Darkest Hour” released on Advoxya Records doesn’t really innovate, but simply confirms the dance potential of the band. I talked about it all with Sander Kapper.

(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)

Q: Stahlnebel & Black Selket are now active for numerous years and have released multiple productions so what makes the chemistry between you guys and what do you consider as your major accomplishments?

Sander: Our chemistry just works well to get results and that makes us strong in what we do. I still think “Lifeless” was our best selling album and “Noise” was our first box set sold by Advoxya Records. I am most proud of our vinyls because it is in my genes since I come from the early days of dance music. I produced a lot of vinyl during that time. This is different for Ralph.

Q: Throughout the years you created a very own- and recognizable sound, kind of ‘sound DNA’, which is mainly dancefloor orientated. What makes the essence and specificity of this sound?

Sander: The basis of our music has never really changed. Raw beats with a Trance build-up. We have tried to change our sound and production, but it just doesn’t work for us. Even when we make a remix, we try to keep that ‘sound DNA’ in it. This also distinguishes us from the main-stream

Q: Every band has its own sound formula and a proper way of working. What’s yours and what’s the input of each member?

Sander: We often work with a starting idea. This can be a sample or just something from the news or contemporary activity and Ralph starts writing a text for that and I lay the foundation for the melody. Ongoing production -we often adjust a lot of things to make it a composition and so you can hear that this is us.

I produce all the music, Ralph arranges the lyrics and vocals and Branko is mainly active on stage for the ‘live’ instruments.

Q: When did you start the writing of the songs for “The Darkest Hour” and how did the composition process happened in pandemic times? Did you try to change and/or improve specific aspects of the production and was there a particular focus?

Sander: “The Darkest Hour” is based on a real 90’s sound. Influences of Skinny Puppy and Hocico from that time. And the title of the song grew out of the dark days and the beginning of the pandemic. But as you may have heard in our old songs, Ralph has been writing about this for years so this pandemic gave us an extra boost.

Q: “The Darkest Hour” sounds as an appropriated title in times of Covid-19, but is there a real connection? What did you try to express lyrical wise  and especially by the song “Never Surrender” featuring famous samplings of Winston Churchill?

Sander: “The Darkest Hour” actually stands for several aspects. War, pandemic, overpopulation and these themes always come back in our productions.

The title says it all, “Never Give Up Or Give In”. Even when time is not good and things are heavy.

Q: How do you see the project evolving throughout the years? Do you’ve a kind of referential album or is every new work just the best one? Further plans?

Sander: This is our eighth album and personally I don’t really have a preference for a particular CD or song. For each of us we have our own preference and, which track we like best. Since I have two young children, it is a bit more difficult to produce these days. I have to manage my time well. I also do a lot of Techno and ‘Hardstyle’ so Stahlnebel & Black Selket always comes first for me. After the release of the box set “Decalogy” I first took some rest and started working on some new tracks. So… more music will follow… maybe a new single. The first thing we are waiting for now is our new “12 inch” We Never Surrender”. 

Since vinyl is back on the swing, the production time is extremely long. We thank Advoxya Records for this. Because the costs are very high to realize this, but we are glad we did it. And of course we want to  thank our loyal fans without them we cannot realize this.

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Inferno Sound Diaries

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