During last years CTM/Transmediale festival I met Cera Khin, Berlin based DJ with Tunisian roots, in a breezy-cold passage in front of the Hardwax record store. We went for a small walk through the area and later sat down in a shady bar where we had an inspiring talk about her LazyTapes label, weird horror movies and lots of other random stuff we both liked. I asked Cera if she would like to play at our Rhizom Festival in Zurich that spring, an alternative music festival I was intensely involved in back then.
Ever since, Cera has been playing her electric music sets all over the world. (She just came back from a three week Asia tour). Her LazyTapes project slows down, disrupts mindless club music and acts as an anchor for me in a world that seems to be moving faster and faster. At this point I want to thank Laura who facilitated this meeting.
Unfortunately the batteries of my recorder conk out the day I met Cera in Berlin, which I only realized at a later moment, when I wanted to listen to it. Cera and I now tried to reconstruct the Interview per mail. Here is what we both remembered of our conversation back then.
A lot has happened since our last meeting. Tell me a bit about the evolution of your label LazyTapes.
How did it all start? What made you do it?
I remember once I had a dream which is more like a lucid dream,you know the kinda waking dream everything felt so real and I dreamt that I had established a label called “LazyTapes” maybe this idea was always hidden in my subconsciousness? I don’t really know … I had already made some tunes by myself and also some tunes with Ossia then I decided to release them and that the cassette would be the perfect medium to start the label. Later on I released a mixtape from ambient hardcore legend Christoph De Babalon, and an EP from one of my fav producers Peder Mannerfelt.
My vision with LazyTapes is to release spontaneous music, I mean maybe you would think that a tune is not done yet and you overthink it before sending it to a label; I'm aware that loads of producers spend shit loads of time to finish some tunes and tend to overthink things & if the tune is done or not but my aim is to release it raw, keep it natural & spontaneous. maybe that's why I called it „LazyTapes“.
Tell me something about your collab with Christoph de Babalon. How did the release happen?
This tape came together very naturally. Christoph De Babalon kindly recorded a special live set for one of my recent Noods Radio shows. It’s fair to say that this effort alone deserves further gratification than a simple upload for streaming purposes, and this quickly became clear when listening to the show whilst it was running on the airwaves. For this reason, we decided to keep this show exclusive to that one-time airing, and to this very cassette and release it on LazyTapes.
Who’s doing all the graphic work for LT?
Patch D Keyes he is an an amazing illustrator based in Bristol, he really understands exactly my aesthetic & graphic taste.
What made you move to Berlin?
I'm born and raised in Tunisia, it's a small country in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast line close to France & Italy. When I finished my studies in Marketing I decided to go somewhere where I couldn't speak french; as French & Arabic are my native languages & yes I want to challenge myself. Maybe that's why I decided to move to Germany to improve my English & learn German ; I've been going regularly to a German language school now for more than a year and its getting better and better :) Ofc Berlin is an exciting city with its history, background, music & art scene then I ended up staying here; been here for almost 5 years time flies!
You have just come back from an Asia tour. How was it?
It's been absolutely insanel! I just came back from 3 weeks being in Asia, been in Japan Tokyo for 9 days played in 3 different venues & walked a lot alone at night amazed by Tokyo's neon lights it was absolutely life changing! Then flew to China in Shanghai played at Club ALL stayed there for one night & then my last stop was in India, played in Mumbai & New Delhi, I felt so much good energy during my dj sets! Before the Asia tour I played in NYC & Mexcio City, it's been pretty surreal to me to visit 5 countries and 2 different continents in less than a month!
Towards the end, I was pretty exhausted from all the traveling and the lack of sleep but felt so grateful to be able experience all this and play whatever the fuck I want in different crowds and cities around the world.
To be completely honest, my Noods radio show is the soundtrack of my mood. I don't really prepare, it's a reflection of what I would be listenning at home or sometimes it reflects what I would be playing in a club. it's a very spontaneous process! If it's a grey day I would play some obscure sounds to fit the vibe otherwise if i'm excited I would play hardcore & rave bangers.
We’ve been talking a lot about obscure movies. We realized that we’re both fans of Andrzej Zulawski’s „Possession“, especially the Isabelle Adjani’s Subway scene. In what way do movies inspire you or how is your approach to it?
I'm a huge sucker for old obscure 60s & 70s horror movies, "Possession" is a cult movie, Isabelle Adjani is so beautiful and her role is so striking. I really love Psychological Horror movies but I do think that the Gory ones can be also very entertaining. In these films, the soundtrack is always dreamy, the sceneries are fascinating definitely one of my biggest influences for obscure sonics & dread.
Will you tell me your favourite obscure movies?
My favourite is 'The Innocents' 1961, Daphne Oram did the soundtrack I feel like this movie inspired David Lynch a lot. 'Carnival Of Souls' 1962 is also amazing & I love Rod Serling's cult serie 'The Twilight Zone' 1959.
Recently your DJ gigs have increased. How are you experiencing the time between your home and the club?
I'm actually feeling pretty blessed with all what's happening and embracing it to the fullest. Ofc I struggle a bit sometimes to keep my mental health in balance but I try to do my best to be the healthiest I could be at home; eating good food and going to the gym when I can also I do enjoy chilling with my cat, discovering new music online & making some sounds it all contribute to my inner happiness.
How do you feel about your experience at the Rhizom Festival in Zurich?
It was actually an amazing experience, had an early morning slot and the crowd was so energetic!! 100% good vibes! I really would love to be back to Zurich soon :)
What are your future plans with LT?
I'm definitely planning to release more of my own material, maybe a solo Ep at some point and I'm still pretty open for demos, I actually received loads of them but still figuring THE ONE I would fall in love with to release it. I'm also proud to be able to establish a LazyTapes night in Tokyo besides Berlin and hopefully do more LazyTapes nights around the world? --
All pictures taken by: Cera Khin
Translation: Kezia Degen
Editing: Tina Reden
Contact: Laura Fughe
Interview: Marc Jauss