Peter Rauhofer with Madonna at the Roxy in 2005 (source)
Dance music lost one of its greatest today when the legendary Peter Rauhofer passed away at age 48 from the complications of brain cancer. The gifted Austrian-born and New York-based DJ, producer and remixer leaves fans with a rich legacy of music, dozens of remixes and critical-acclaim including a GRAMMY win for his remix of Cher's "Believe" in 2000. Rauhofer also leaves his extensive fan community with many nostalgic memories of sharing unforgettable nights of music with friends.
In a time that EDM is ruling the pop charts and selling out stadiums around the world, it may be hard to imagine for some that not-so-long ago house music was solely an underground phenomenon that was driven by a small group of DJs and their loyal following of fans. Cities like London, Berlin and New York City set the tone, and created a club culture that ultimately helped lay the foundation for the success of dance music today.
Rauhofer was one of the driving forces behind that movement. After working as a record store clerk in Vienna, he started his DJ career in the early '80s experimenting with everything from funk to rap, and from Acid to German New Wave. Rauhofer found his groove soaking up the sights and sounds of New York City, and the house music scene that emerged after disco faded. He concocted a sweeping blend of deep house, tribal rhythms with a hint of progressive that became his signature sound, and turned him into a true turntable idol.
One of Rauhofer's first big achievements was the release of Club 69's debut album, "Adults Only," in 1995 that featured the dance hit "Let Me Be Your Underwear." The success was followed by the number one dance hit "Much Better" in 1997. Rauhofer also established The Collaboration, a dance music partnership with his pal Victor Calerdone that released "Do It Properly" in 1999. Taking cues from his A&R work for GIG-BMG in Vienna, Rauhofer decided to launch his own independent record label, named Star 69, in 1999 to promote house and new dance music talent around the world.
Rauhofer became a long-time DJ resident at the legendary club Roxy in New York City that helped to solidify his reputation as one of the nation's most influential house DJs. He played a remix of Donna Summer’s "Last Dance" twice before the club closed its doors forever in 2008 that marked the end of an era.
It was for good reason that Madonna decided to launch her "Confessions On A Dancefloor" project at the Roxy in 2005 to support her good friend Rauhofer. The two had a special bond, and the DJ ended up remixing many of the Queen of Pop's singles including "Nothing Really Matters," "Nothing Fails." "Mother & Father," "Miles Away," "American Life" and others.
Rauhofer's influential club nights, award-winning productions, A&R work, and remixes for Madonna and other pop stars add to a very long list of musical achievements that he will be always be known for. Rauhofer's music inspired joy and captured moments in time that many of his fans will remember with a great fondness.
RIP Peter Rauhofer (1965-2013)