House Music DJ/Producer. San Francisco/Maryland/New York.
Bio: Born Scott E. Friedel on June 24th, 1969, Scott Hardkiss rose to prominence as part of the Hardkiss collective and, more broadly, the eruption of the San Francisco and Bay Area rave scene in the early 1990s. He attended high school in Maryland with his future “brother” Robbie Hardkiss, and university at Penn with future “brother” Gavin Hardkiss.
“We pretty much all met each other through music when we were teenagers,” Gavin says. “None of us were musicians. We just had a love for music and albums and going out to shows and hearing DJs and dancing.”
Scott showed up at Penn one day with turntables. “I think he was into breakdancing in high school,” Gavin says. “And the turntable became our instrument of choice.”
After drifting individually toward San Francisco, the trio – now branding themselves as Hardkiss, an ambiguous description for something ambiguous by design – perfected their DJ skills, party promotion, and A&R via the launch of Hardkiss Music in 1991. The label would launch their individual production careers and became extremely important in promoting electronic music in the United States in the early- to mid-1990s, not least of all through the seminal compilation of Hardkiss Music singles, Delusions of Grandeur. Scott released music under the moniker “God Within.”
Hardkiss Music went into hibernation in 1997 following the trio’s signing of a record deal with Columbia, which involved both a God Within/Scott Hardkiss solo album, followed by a Hardkiss album featuring all three members.
“Scott had a clear vision from the start of what he wanted to do,” Robbie remembers. “He was the type of guy who could sit down and do ‘Raincry’ and do it pretty quickly because he knew what he wanted to do before he started. For (the album with Columbia), he wanted to blend all of his rock and funk and Prince and hip hop influences together in a larger electronic-influenced album. He was ready for it.”
The sessions stalled, however, and then the Hardkiss’ A&R rep left the label and management entered something of a low-intensity civil war. With the deal crumbling, Hardkiss also crumbled and the members each went their separate ways.
In New York, Scott continued to work on production, writing and producing for Lisa Shaw, Dean & Britta as well as his own productions for the God Within Recordings label. He passed away suddenly on March 25, 2014 of a cerebral aneurysm.
-TM, from Hardkiss: The Story So Far
aka: God Within, ??? (The Secret Track)