The Hardkiss Brothers–Scott, Gavin and Robbie–were an important part of the West Coast rave scene in its formative years in the early 90s. DJ brothers by choice with a shared performance surname, they helped pioneer San Francisco’s eclectic underground scene under a number of monikers, including Scott Hardkiss’ project “God Within,” Gavin as “Hawke,” and Robbie as “Little Wing.” They also created a record label of the same name, Hardkiss Records, which released a number of amazing tracks, bringing acid, breakbeat, techno and trance textures to the fore. The sound was inspired by their shared experience traveling in the UK during the “Summer(s) of Love” in 88-89: hippie raver, psychedelic, and referencing the musics of indigenous cultures.
Scott’s “God Within” project helped create a US West Coast dimension to the burgeoning electronic music scene. In “The Phoenix” he dropped a guitar jam (rumored to be sampled from ELO) over a breakbeat in the middle of the track to create surprise energy. I can see the kids in their gigantic pants throwing candy-laden arms into the air amid hugs in Golden Gate Park, or people losing their minds at a warehouse in China Basin, to this.
Sasha and Digweed used God Within’s anthemic “Raincry” on their breakout double CD mix “Northern Exposure” that helped create their own legends and give birth to what we now know as progressive house. See if you can identify elements here that became part of the current sounds of the huge festivals and clubs.
A great BBC Radio 1 broadcast Scott did for Pete Tong, regarded as one of their best episodes: https://soundcloud.com/scotthardkiss/scott-hardkiss-essential-mix (sorry, couldn’t embed this one directly in the post but it’s classic).
You can hear and download Scott’s first 1992 mix tape at OM Labs in LA, both sides here at the Simfonik mixtape archive:
We all have our time under the sun. Scott had been having health problems recently, and has passed away at the age of 43.
Let’s hope we can all create beauty like Scott Hardkiss did. Rest in peace, brother.