“Moodiness with a pinch of sex”

Get to know techno talent (and Herrensauna resident) CEM.

Choker Zana Bayne, top Astrid Andersen, earring CEM’s own

In the ever-developing, fast-paced underground of Berlin, the night—and morning—is defined by dark, deep excess at its very best. The party lives nonstop, unfolding through a wide range of venues where everything from techno to punk envelop the revellers. Herrensauna resident CEM “stalks drag queens on Instagram” by day, but at night his minimal techno, a self-described sound of “moodiness with a pinch of sex”, fills basements—now far beyond Berlin—and keeps you holding on all night (and day).

How would you define “Pain”, the theme of our current issue? Is pain a feeling you canalise or evoke somehow through your work? 

Pain is not just a distinctive and unpleasant sensation, it’s more an overall feeling that I am experiencing with this world at present. Weltschmerz is real.

Would you say that pain, in whatever shape it comes, has somehow mediated your professional achievements? How about the personal ones?

Not professionally, but very much on a personal level.

Can you describe the aesthetics of your music?

Moodiness with a pinch of sex.


Shirt and trousers Xander Zhou, boots MISBHV, earring CEM’s own

Who and what has influenced your style?

Many nights out and some great people surrounding me.

When is the perfect situation to listen to CEM?

Anything you do excessively.

Besides music, what else do you like doing?

Stalking drag queens on Instagram.


Apron Vivienne Westwood, boots John Lawrence Sullivan, briefs Hanro

What are your thoughts on the music scene of Berlin?

It’s vibrant and more colourful than I can remember.

Is there anything that, as an artist, you’d like to do to release some of the pain flooding the world?


As a rising talent, what is it you fear? And how do you overcome your fears?

We are all scared to just disappear in the void. As corny as it sounds, follow your gut.

Follow CEM on Instagram and Soundcloud


Words by Alejandra Espinosa

Photography: Barrie Hullegie

Styling: Leendert Sonnevelt

Hair and make-up: Carlos Saidel—House of Orange

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