R.I.P. Scott Hardkiss

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.”

Ed Chemical


Utah Saints Silicone Soul


Darren Ressler


  1. VERY unexpected loss. R.I.P. Scott & condolences to Hardkiss family and friends. Too soon.

  2. Rest in peace Scott. Delusions of grandeur are the essence of life.

  3. I’ll never forget the “Yes” album so many incredible journey’s with that set. Scott, you were a pioneer and an artist. You will be greatly missed.

  4. I opened for Scott way back in the day for my first paying DJ gig. Sad day indeed..

  5. Tragic news.

    Scott was one the line-up of our first Sonic Soul Productions event — Expand, in 1992. I will never forget him dropping “One Nation Under A Groove” as the lights came up and the police were clearing out the patrons of our little illegal warehouse event, who were exiting quite peacefully, while dancing through the room with hands in the air. One of those magical moments of the early rave scene.

    Hardkiss helped legitmize the next wave US underground producers and DJs (after the early Chicago, Detroit, and NYC orginators). They helped define the West Coast sound and elevated San Francisco as the new Mecca for underground house culture.

    My heart goes out to follow Hardkiss “brothers”, Gavin and Robbie

    — DJ LoveGrove.

  6. Wow, I used to see him all the time out here in San Francisco when I was photographing all the big beat names that would travel through. So sad. Thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.

  7. The hardkiss brothers played a small house party in DC in the early nineties, he played a remix of Elton John’s Rocket Man… really blew the lid off the party, epic to this day… RIP Scott and thank you for all the good vibes and times.

  8. I worked with Scott on Raincry and some other releases. We wrote and recorded it in my studio. He was an original thinker, a true artist. He had a huge influence on my life then and I still feel it now 20 years later. My heart goes out to the very large family he built around the world. I’m sure he will be deeply missed.

  9. Blessings to your loved ones…………. My angels have got your back Scott may you flurrish in another life ……….

  10. So sad news… R.I.P. Scott, your music will stay an inspiration forever

  11. RIP Scott, so sad to hear the news. Only the good die young. We were lucky enough to get to know the man on a trip he had to Australia, he was a true creative visionary, professional and a gentleman.

  12. I’m listening to him tonight again and very humbled by his musical genius… He left way too soon!!

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