Rapture keyboardist Gabriel Andruzzi has a cozy relationship with club culture.
RAPTURE DJS with YOU SAY PARTY! WE SAY DIE! at the Burroughes Building (639 Queen West), Wednesday (August 27), 8 pm. $17.50. 416-870-8000.
It's been almost two years since New York post-punk revivalists the Rapture dropped their last LP, Pieces Of The People We Love (Vertigo), and still the band is nowhere near releasing a follow-up. That hasn't stopped the seasoned scenesters from letting their presence be felt.
To pass the time between tours and records, keyboardist Gabriel Andruzzi and bass player Matt Safer (and sometimes drummer Vito Roccoforte) have taken to rocking parties as "the Rapture DJs," appearing at gigs in Europe, Australia and South America.
"We play everything from Get Physical tracks to Baltimore club to Cashmere and MK edits. And if it's the right kind of party, we'll play a lot of disco," says Andruzzi over the phone.
Growing up in the Maryland/Washington, DC area, Andruzzi began DJing while still in high school, spinning "funk, soul, hip-hop and a little bit of house," while also being influenced by the go-go, rave, Bmore and post-hardcore sounds that thrived in the East Coast underground.
Andruzzi joined the Rapture in 2002, just before the band recorded their breakout hit House Of Jealous Lovers.
"DJing was part of the culture the band was in. We played a lot of parties with 2 Many DJs and Erol Alkan - it was this European party scene that we were a part of."
While he reminisces fondly about the hassles of carting crates of vinyl on tour, Andruzzi admits that the Rapture DJs have slowly switched to laptops.
"Recently, one by one, we've started using Serato because it's portable and easy. I still actually prefer CD-Js because I don't think Serato sounds as good yet. It's a tiny difference, but I don't think Serato has the most amazing analog converter."
Ever the gear-head, Andruzzi has also used his down time to put together a studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. There, he's putting the finishing touches on releases for his Throne Of Blood label, including hotly tipped 12-inches by rising NYC ghetto-techer Dances With White Girls, and Pittsburgh synth duo Zombi.
With their next record still at least a year off, the Rapture gave fans a small tide-me-over earlier this spring when their track No Sex For Ben was released on the Grand Theft Auto IV soundtrack. Working on Rockstar Games' dime, the Rapture were flown to England for a surreal recording session with Timbaland.
"We were recording at Trevor Horn's studio in London when we found out that Justin Timberlake was upstairs working with Duran Duran.
"Next thing we knew, he came downstairs and was like, ‘Aw shit! This track is great! Can I get on it?' and he just went and sang, like, six backup vocals for the chorus." JT's vox didn't make the final cut - Andruzzi says they're saving that oddity for a future Rapture box set.