Bay Area trailblazer Scott Hardkiss (real surname Friedel), a member of San Francisco production trio Hardkiss, has died at the age of 43. Alongside his output with his studio partners, Hardkiss was an accomplished DJ, pushing breakbeat, electronica, four-four, Balearic and several shades in between. His productions like Raincry and The Phoenix soundtracked many a rave, and in 2009, he released his solo debut album, Technicolor Dreamer, an event fans had been anticipating for a while. The man’s Soundcloud bio put it pretty perfectly in summing up his many achievements: “DJ, producer, remixer, composer, arranger, multi-media artist, designer, writer, inventor, label owner, radio host, mercenary shaman, agent provocateur, 21st-century renaissance cat & ill mothafucka.”
Hardkiss had many devotees amongst his peers. As Nick Warren wrote on Facebook, the producer had a new album ready for release alongside his Hardkiss collaborator Gavin: “I only spoke to him recently about Scott and Gavin’s new album that was ready to go. My thoughts are with Gavin and all the family, a true gentleman and a great producer.” As BBC Radio 1’s Annie Nightingale put it on Twitter: “RIP Scott Hardkiss, Bay Area DJ who got me so much into US breakbeat back in the day. Thank you for the music.” Then there were tributes from Chemical Brother Ed Simons, Justin Robertson, Kaskade and more Bay Area identities who attested to the influence of Hardkiss.
RIP Scott Hardkiss, who played with us many times in San Francisco, and whose records and vibe were an inspiration #raincry
— ed simons (@eddychemical) March 26, 2013
The Hardkiss Brothers & Rabbit In The Moon were the most groundbreaking & under-appreciated acts of the 90’s.
— Tommie Sunshine (@tommiesunshine) March 26, 2013
Devastated to hear about the death of my friend Scott Hardkiss. We had reconnected and had plans to work together. RIP brother.
— Sasha (@sashaofficial) March 26, 2013
Scott Hardkiss changed the way I listened. He was gifted, in the extreme. One of the best songs of all time: ow.ly/jraCR
— Kaskade (@kaskade) March 26, 2013