Cera Khin explores the yin and yang of rave music

Get to know the prolific DJ ahead of her set at Lente Kabinet.

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It might be difficult to remember what a sun-soaked day feels like right now, but we suspect you could really use one. Kicking off the festival season in style, Glamcult has once more teamed up with Lente Kabinet (the sweet little sister of Dekmantel) for your proper first taste of summer. Just try to fast-forward two months and imagine yourself speeding and dreaming to the sound of Cera Khin, the Tunisian but Berlin-based rave expert deserving of all your attention. Ahead of her festival appearance—or any of her global gigs, for that matter—get familiar with the producer, DJ, label owner and radio host right here.

FACT recently described your sounds as “a retro-future universe populated by psychedelic rave galaxies and acid black holes”—and we couldn’t have said it better. However, could you describe your favourite (creative) state of mind?

I would say that my mood very much affects what I would be reflecting in a mix or any creative process. I also like to dig deep into my consciousness. For example, my FACT mix was inspired by my recent tour in Asia, more particularly Japan. I spent loads of time alone and had long walks at night surrounded by Tokyo’s neon lights.

At some point I felt like if I were in a different dimension, the city is very surrealistic and intense at same time—and this inspired me to record a mix combining all the elements to be able to express musically all the emotions I’ve experienced during this tour.

Judging by your mixes, you’ve never been afraid of a heavy rave sound. Still, we’re curious, when exactly did you find out that this deep, hammering and euphoric side of electronic music was your thing?

Why should I be afraid of heavy rave sound? [Laughs] Being a ’90s child, at that time I was too young to rave. Nowadays, I feel like I missed that era and I wish I were old enough to experience real rave culture. Through my DJ sets I can at least try to travel through time and experience a flashback from the ’90s—where unity and love were not a taboo subject and people weren’t afraid to show their feelings.

I’m a very sensitive person and I think that the juxtaposition between deep, hammering and euphoric sounds trigger my emotions. It can be sadness or happiness but I like to experience both because one comes after the other. It’s like dark and light, good and evil or yin and yang transform the negative into positive.

How do running a label, producing your own music and DJing influence and relate to each other?

I think DJing, producing and running a label complement each other. DJ-sets and music productions help me to express my feelings with sounds and share it with a crowd. I love sharing and I think this is one of my main endeavours: SHARING.

You play music for a crowd and you produce music so that people can listen to, right? I mean, you could do music for yourself and never share it, but then what’s the point? A label is a medium where all these sounds are shared.

As the label boss of LazyTapes, what exactly do you look for in an artist you work with or a track you release? And why is the medium—vinyl/cassette—such an important aspect of LazyTapes’ identity and output?

The music I release should be honest and made with feelings and I release the music I fall in love with. Via LazyTapes, I try to release music on cassettes and vinyl. Cassettes are cute and not too expensive. Also, I really like the DIY touch if it.

Your upcoming gigs range from Berlin and Milan to Mexico City and Amsterdam, where you’ll play at Lente Kabinet (we’re excited!). When do you consider a set successful?

I consider a set successful when I feel like I really transferred the positive energy to the crowd. To see happy faces and smiles makes me happy too. It’s a very psychological process!

We recently spent a weekend at De School and asked all DJs to describe their expectations and dreams for the near future of club culture. We’d also like to ask you: what do you really hope to see change on dance floors around the globe?

I would like to see more tolerance, more love, more unity, more freedom and less bullshit.

You’ve previously discussed your love of film. Which movie from the past or present best embodies what Cera Khin stands for?

I love weird movies for sure and I think The Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky is a masterpiece.

Words by Leendert Sonnevelt

Photography by Kasia Zacharko

 

Follow Cera Khin on Soundcloud and Instagram

Get your Lente Kabinet tickets here

 

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