Of the handful of names that are practically synonymous with the gay dance circuit, Peter Rauhofer belongs to the elite club of producers and remixers who can claim the title of “Grammy winner.”
He also owns his own label, Star 69 Records, which has served as the platform for over 20 successful years in the music industry. During that time he has remixed everyone from Madonna to Britney while still keeping dancefloors the world over moving.
Rauhofer’s grooves have always been global. Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, he moved to New York City in 1995 and currently holds residencies at Manhattan’s Work, Montreal’s Parking, Sao Paulo’s The Week, and Paris’ Mix Club.
Perhaps best known for compilations that present both music and talent in innovative ways, Rauhofer started out by bringing together the likes of Kruder and Dorfmeister. He continues to work with Danny Tenaglia, the Pet Shop Boys, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, as well as with house diva Suzanne Palmer and underground sensation Celeda. Among Rauhofer’s most recent remixes are Madonna’s “Miles Away,” and Cerrone’s 1979 disco classic “Supernature.”
Boy Beats caught up with Rauhofer just after Halloween, where he provided the music backdrop for Saint at Large’s Salem in New York City, and just before he rings in the new year spinning on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.
What are some of the things your die-hard fans look for in your sets?
I think people look for that "Rauhofer-Vibe,” which means getting the "best of the best" from my music.
You’re known for your continual evolution. How do stay inspired?
When I watch people dance, and see their reaction on the dancefloor, I get extremely inspired. It’s like I paint a picture of a model that’s standing in front of me. In the studio, I close my eyes and imagine the crowd on that dancefloor to get the right feel.
What's the "journey" you want to take people on when they come to your dancefloor?
My personal mood never really influences my spinning. You can’t really program a journey, I think you only realize afterwards if it was a journey or not.
How do you strike the right balance between creating commercial hits and satisfying your underground following?
I try to be very versatile in my remixes, and I always try to find that special sound that is playable by almost everyone. I am also looking for something different, something that is unique but still familiar. You always have to look out for what's next. Never get stuck in the past and cry about the "good old times." They won't come back!
What are some of your favorite remixes you’ve done, and why?
Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful,” Depeche Mode’s “Its No Good,” and Nelly Furtado’s “Say It Right.” And then Madonna, of course! Nothing to explain there!
Much of your music is rooted in the gay dance circuit. What do gay audiences appreciate that others don’t necessarily?
As long as the beat is "fierce" or the diva "screams," the gay audience will love it (laughs)! I always try to be a bit more edgy and educating, as people expect that from me. The sound on the gay dancefloor is worldwide pretty much the same, but that’s not true anymore on a straight dancefloor. They have way too many directions.
How is San Francisco’s dance scene different from other cities you play?
My impression is that the scene is small, but whenever I play in San Francisco, it’s always great and the crowd gets wild, so I am always looking forward coming back.
In San Francisco, like in most cities, bigger club venues are giving way to more intimate ones, which is definitely changing the vibe and vitality of the dance scene. What do make of the current state of the dance circuit in general?
I think there’s a new generation and they are not big club lovers. They love lounges, bars, getting drunk, and dancing to pop-house. They are in bed by 3 am latest. Thank god there are still great venues out there for big room events, and that there's also still a crowd that flocks to these venues.