There are many reasons you might have heard of Christina Nemec. She is the founder of Comfortzone Records, producer Chra, and bass player of Blackest Ever Black favourites Shampoo Boy. Speaking of the 70s and 80s however, it appears Nemec’s focus wasn’t always on electronic music. “I grew up in a small town called Villach, close to the Italian border and the former Yugoslavia” she begins. “In the late 70s I loved hard rock, post-punk and of course Kraftwerk. I started to play bass guitar in the early 80s and moved to Vienna where there was a big post-punk/new-wave scene which I fell into. During the late 80s I played in several guitar bands. Inspired by Godflesh we started Bray a combination of a drum machine and 3 bass guitars.”
Whlist Bray have continued along the metal route however, Nemec was drawn in by electronic music. Speaking on the scene in Austra, Nemec is rather animated. “Especially in the mid-90s when labels like Mego and Laton started, music changed. It was hip that time to listen to abstract music… funny! I really loved it - techno got way too commercial for me. These days Mego still exists and Fennesz is still around in Vienna, as well as some of the colleagues and friends I’ve also incuded in my mix. There is still a pretty diverse scene and some nice clubs as well.”
Recently her passion for more abstract sounds has found a home in her glitch-laced solo project Chra, and as a part of Shampoo Boy, alongside Peter Rehberg and Christian Schachinger. When asked about her first meeting with the group however, Nemec’s story dates back long before the band’s formation. “Peter was DJing in the late 80s at a bar called Chelsea Bar in Vienna” she muses. “I heard Mark Stewart’s ‘Stranger Than Love’ for the first time in that set, and fell in love with it. Schachinger was playing in a noise-rock band that time - Occidental Blue Harmony Lovers. Soon after Peter moved to Schachinger’s apartment and they formed severals bands together and ran a fan zine. We started the group much later, having our debut release on BeB in 2013.”
Alongside the two production projects Nemec founded her own label Comfortzone in 2009, originally as a platform to release her own material. As she explains however, Comfortzone soon evolved into something much more important. “I started the label release my debut album - I was in negotiations with labels, but didn’t want to wait so long. I also wanted to establish a platform to release lots of queer/feminist artists - as a member of female pressure I felt an urgent need to.” Comfortzone were responsible for one of our standout albums of last year, Reshaft’s Decon, and have pelty in the pipeline for 2015, including a 7” record with Mika Vainio, and a compilation EP featuring various Vienna based female producers, including Gustav, Cherry Sunkist, Pasajera Oscura.
Nemec’s mix for us covers an hour of the drone, ambient and leftfield techno with which she has been promoting in recent years, featuring several Comfortzone artists, as well as some of the projects with which she is involved with directly.