Thursday, 16 May 2013


Peter Rauhofer in 1994 (Photo via Peter Rauhofer's official Facebook page)

Pioneering DJ, producer and remixer Peter Rauhofer died on May 7 after a long battle with brain cancer. The iconic blond was arguably best known for his very gay Star 69 record label, and his remix work for Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, Madonna, Mariah  Carey, Whitney Houston, Pet Shop Boys and even Yoko Ono. He also won (under the name Club 69) the Grammy Award for Remixer of the Year in 2000 for his reworking of Cher's Believe.

"It makes me sad, not only that I have lost a friend, but that the world has lost an amazing talent and that future generations will never get to understand the magic that Peter created night after night all over the world," Rauhofer's friend and manager Angelo Russo posted on Rauhofer's Facebook page. He added, "I ask that his true fans keep his legacy alive by sharing his music with anyone who may not have had the opportunity to experience it for themselves."

I interviewed Rauhofer just once, when he headlined Divers/Cité’s official closing party in Montreal back in 2005. He was pretty frank and honest, and told me that - unlike many other cities - he still loved spinning in Montreal.

Bugs: Why did you leave your hometown of Vienna in 1995? 

Peter Rauhofer: You can leave Austria for 10 years and it’s like you left yesterday. I wanted to go to the source where everything happens. Everybody in Europe dreams of going to America and NYC is the place to go.

You have a taste for female vocalists with big personas and big voices. So do most gay men. Why do you think that is? 

Because gay people admire powerful women. If a gay man could choose to be a woman, he would choose to be a powerful woman.

Are you still working on a project with Grace Jones? 

No. It was too complicated. She just wants to sing on a DJ track if she shows up at all…
Do you often re-record vocals in your remixes? 

It’s very rare [today] that a singer wants to re-sing [a remix]. Most of the times I have to work with what I get. Artists are not involved in remixes unless they’re Mariah Carey or Madonna.

You say circuit parties are on their last legs. Why? 

Circuit parties are not what they were when they started. And they always left a bad taste. It’s not about dancing. It’s a pickup fest. Circuit parties were never stylish or exclusive enough. Every party has the same DJs and same décor. They’ve become commercialized. Promoters don’t care because they want to make big bucks.

Do you think drugs have also ruined that experience forever? 

Drugs have ruined the experience. I’ve travelled to a lot of cities and NYC is the most extreme. People don’t go out for the DJ anymore. They don’t care about the DJ. And it’s not just the gay world. It’s also the straight world. Everybody gets drunk as hell, they’re trashed and there’s no vibe. They try to hook up and that’s it. But I must say it’s not like that in Montreal yet – it’s still a music-oriented city.

Peter Rauhofer died on May 7. He was 48. RIP.

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