Beginning in the mid- to late '90s, Peter Rauhofer garnered acclaim, attention, and controversy as Club 69, a moniker he used for his rather suggestive style of house music. By the end of the '90s, though, Rauhofer had expanded his reach in the stateside dance community. He not only had a successful label to call his own, Star 69, but also a thriving DJ reputation. If fact, Rauhofer became so well-regarded within the house scene that he began getting offers to remix the work of dance-pop's biggest names. For example, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, and Depeche Mode are just a few of the more popular artists who asked Rauhofer to give their music his trademark dancefloor treatment. Rauhofer's remixing eventually scored him a Grammy for Remixer of the Year, making him one of the few producer/DJs to crossover to the pop mainstream while still remaining an underground favorite.
Long before Rauhofer became one of New York's finest, he spent his youth in Vienna, Austria, his hometown. He first began getting acquainted with music while working at a small record store that stocked imports. By the early '80s, he had become a DJ and was regularly spinning at clubs around town. Next came a stint as the international A&R director for GIG Records, a small Austrian record label. This job provided him with plenty of industry experience, and success eventually came his way, most notably when his production of "Let Me Be Your Underwear," released under the name Club 69, became a breakthrough hit in the U.S. This song set the stage for the debut Club 69 full-length, Adults Only. Soon Rauhofer was splitting his time between Austria and the States.
By the late '90s, Rauhofer had expanded his reach beyond Club 69, recording under other names such as House Heroes ("Magic Orgasm") and Size Queen ("Pimps, Pumps & Pushers"), and started his own label, Star 69. In 1997 came his second Club 69 full-length, Style, which became a cult favorite and a Billboard success, partly thanks to the success of "Drama." By the end of the decade, he had become a coveted remixer, getting assignments from such big names as Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, Rihanna, Yoko Ono, and K.D. Lang, among others. His remixing duties ultimately culminated in a Grammy for Remixer of the Year in 2000 for his remix of Cher's "Believe." It wasn't just his remixing work that was winning Rauhofer acclaim, though. Star 69 had blossomed into an in-demand label as progressive house became the trendy sound of early 2000. Rauhofer also became a superstar DJ, spinning at a number of New York's biggest clubs like the Limelight, in addition to contributing to nationally distributed mix albums like his entry in the Essential Mix series. Furthermore, Rauhofer became one of the gay community's most cherished DJs, as he went out of his way to champion the circuit party scene, while fellow DJs like Deep Dish's Sharam would credit him with opening the door for the EDM explosion of the 2010s. After suffering a seizure in March of 2013, he was rushed to the hospital where testing revealed a large brain tumor. Rauhofer lost his battle with brain cancer on May 7, 2013. Carl Cox, Markus Schulz, David Guetta, and Hector Romero where just some of the names who quickly took to social media to pay tribute. ~ Jason Birchmeier