DJ/producer Scott Hardiss passed away unexpectedly earlier today. In the early ’90s Scott Friedel was a member of pioneering San Francisco DJ/producer trio Hardkiss which was rounded out by musical partners Gavin and Robbie. The Hardkiss Brothers (who weren’t biologically related) helped nourish and influence the era’s fledgling West Coast sound — psychedelia mixed with Balearic, house and techno — via Bay Area warehouse parties as well as remixes and productions issued on Hardkiss Music. After relocating to New York City in the late ’90s, Scott, who also recorded under the God Within moniker (listen to his classic “Raincry” below), went on to remix for the likes of Elton John, George Clinton and The Flaming Lips. In 2009 he released his well-received debut album, Technicolor Dreamer, and he also contributed music to various film, television and commercial projects led by Spike Lee, Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater.
When I was running Mixer magazine, I worked closely with Scott on Mixer presents United DJs of America Vol. 17: Scott Hardkiss released in 2001. I got to know him well on a professional and social basis. Scott was a singular individual who marched to his own beat; he was an exceptionally talented individual who saw the world with a unique view. He was wildly intelligent and had an incredibly dry sense of humor that always brought a smile to my face. Whenever Scott was behind the decks, I’d marvel at the soundtrack he wove together with strains of house, breaks, trance and beyond that few could replicate.
Have a listen to his Essential Mix and soak in the essence of Scott Hardkiss’ beautiful musical soul.
Rest in peace, my friend.
Update, March 26 12:00pm: There has been an outpouring of love from people remembering Scott on social media. (See below.)
Wade Hampton (a.k.a. WishFM), who knew Scott during their days on the San Francisco scene, told Big Shot: “Scott was a visionary. Although he was as elusive as any DJ could be at the dawn of our EDM movement, he helped build a loyal strong family unit with Hardkiss Family. That’s all that mattered to us. As long as we knew he always reaching for perfection, the path we took really didn’t matter…and this cool cat attained it all the time. I’ll miss my homie dearly.”
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