Berlin’s South African Connection

Co-creator of the Berlin-based label Rise, Floyd Lavine is playing his part in providing a platform for African-inspired artists as well as contributing with his own lauded output of Afro-rooted deep house. Since leaving his home of South Africa, the DJ and producer honed his skills simultaneously at the University of Westminster and London’s underground clubs with his Nomadiq label and parties, and then went on to hit Cape Town and Berlin, moving in circles frequented by the likes of Jef K, David Meyer, Henrik Schwarz, and Black Coffee. Well-acquainted with Berlin institutions such as Watergate, Berghain, and Sisyphos, Lavine sits at the heart of Europe’s electronic music scene.

Q: Approximately how many gigs do you play a year?
Being new to Berlin and relocating to Europe, I played around 58 gigs last year, which is roughly about four gigs per month.

Q: How many flights do you need to take for your annual bookings? 
I’m constantly flying high in the sky with my morning meditation—Jah man (joking). Last year I took roughly 30 flights and this year so far it’s been about 18 or 20.

Q: What equipment do you typically use? What do you pack?
I usually take my music with me. I play with USB and some vinyl—it depends on the set up in the club. I also take my laptop to work on ideas whilst travelling. And my dancing shoes, I can’t forget my dancing shoes.

Q: What does traveling mean to you? Are you still able to enjoy it?
Traveling means the world to me; to travel and connect with people from another part of the world, to see how they live, to experience their culture, the food, the music, the energy and also the humanity we all share. It’s humbling for me to travel and makes me appreciate the gift of life.

Q: What do you miss the most when you’re on the road?
I miss my coffee and my pet rabbit. I think my girlfriend
will not be happy to hear this—haha. Being serious; when I’m travelling I would sometimes like to share it with someone and I think that would make it extra special, but apart from that I miss my loved ones and my friends or I wish they were with me.

Q: How do you keep your life balanced?
I think I’m slowly learning that I have to take care of my body and mental state. But a good book also helps; just to read something while waiting at the airport. And also I feel very lucky and blessed to get to travel and see different places and meet new people. This helps me keep the balance.

Q: What’s the best, weirdest, or craziest situation you’ve experienced on your journeys so far?
Crazy stories, haha. I think it’s best for everyone I keep that covered. Let’s just say I love a good, crazy party. I think if you’ve had the chance to be on the road with me you’ll know that anything can happen. The best story is sharing music and experiences with the people I meet on my travels.

Sound Travels: DJs in Transit, Berlin 2012-2017, a collaboration between Berlin’s iconic techno club Watergate, the Cosmo Hotel, and Linus Dessecker, is available to purchase at www.soundtravels.de.

Friday, February 7th, 2020