LE BAIN: Tell us about your first rave in Austin, Texas, where you lived, and hearing the DJ Josh Wink for the first time. How does this first revelation still inspire you today?
CHRISTINE RENÉE: That WAS really an “Ah ha! Moment.” My plans to move from Austin to New York were in motion, and I had little lined-up for my life here. I just wanted to get to this town that is still a wellspring of inspiration, but I had no idea how I would take care of practical matters like rent. When I saw the exalted Josh-Wink-smile after his set, I focused my NY intentions on a career in music. I never became a drum and bass DJ, but that moment still resonates the message: to always do what brings you joy and the rest will follow.
As a child, you were surrounded by music.
Yes. I was born into a musical family in Austin, TX the “Live Music Capital of the World”. I’ve heard that we before birth, we choose our parents. If this is true, it makes sense that I selected Austin and my dad. His form of sound healing was to play the guitar, and he brought that into my life. When I was an infant, he took care of me while my mom worked nights. He’d invite friends over, they hung out and listened to tunes while I ran around in diapers. I think that was a major influence because I sought out that way of communing with music when I was a teenager and a young adult.
How did that happen?
In high school, I hung with mostly guys and we listened to new wave, synth wave, punk, emo etc. Each one of us wanted to know more than everyone else in our crew. We competed for knowledge and this gave me a fervor for digging. I went to the stores 5 days a week. I knew their inventory so when something came in, I’d explore that. When I got to New York, I aligned with DJs like Jason Spun, Danny Wang, Levon Vincent, Eric Duncan, Thomas Bullock, and Harvey. Those were late nights, listening to music and days working in record stores. When I fell in with these guys, I had only been DJing for two years, so there was really no way I could keep up with their knowledge and experience. Most of them started playing in the 80’s, but it didn’t matter, I learned through absorption.