The long lost Hardkiss Brothers officially return with the release of their new album, 1991, an homage to California’s ‘90s acid house explosion and a heave-ho into the open future. The album is rich with musical experiments and funky hybrids, featuring the vocals of none other than Robbie Hardkiss on much of the proceedings. But the groove almighty rules throughout, from the sun-kissed breakbeats of “Revolution (Hardkiss Brothers Mix)” to the sunset uplift of “Broken Hearts.” Gavin Hardkiss provides his timeless melodies, as evidenced on much of his solo work through the years. While the loss of the late great Scott Hardkiss can be felt on 1991 -- he unexpectedly passed away last year as the new album was in production -- his spirit beams from within. There’s no missing the love these three brothers still have for one another or the underground dance scene they helped build.
MAGNETIC RECOMMENDS:Top 10 House Music Selections Of The Week
Below is an excerpt of a feature story on the Hardkiss odyssey to be published later this week. 1991 is available now on iTunes:
Robbie: The title would make a lot of people think that we wanted to do an album that sounded like 1991. That we want to go back and play the ‘90s acid house. But really it’s more sentimental. It’s more about the feelings and emotions we were having at the time and the experiences... We’d been apart for like a decade. So that put 1991 in the room right when we got back together. Starting to get reconnected to Scott with the music takes it to another level. And then losing Scott just takes it to ‘Oh my god!’ level of paying homage to that time, what a special time.
Gavin: Our idea of the ‘90s, you talk about the sound and culture of that early ‘90s period. There was gangster hip hop going off and grunge and Eddie Vedder in other sectors. And man, we were living in the sunshine. We weren’t paying any attention to all that other shit people were listening to. We were living in the sun and enjoying those vibes. Any way we can pass that on, it’s a good sonic expression. I love it.
Every generation is different. I was trying to explain this. I was hanging out with this 18-year-old kid last night for hours. He was helping out. I was telling him, when we were growing up in the ‘90s, there was this thing called 2000 the millennium that was hanging over our shoulders for 10 years. And it didn’t matter what situation you were in, but if you got into a heavy conversation, it was like, ‘Dude, what’s that going to be like?’ Nostradamus, Y2K, that was just, even if you were like, ‘Yeah, bullshit,’ it just came up very often.
Robbie: You were at least anticipating the party.
Gavin: So, with this threat, the future threat, we were like fuck it, we’re going to have a really good time right now. We’re going to jam. We’re going to party. That’s what we did for years. Then Y2K came and went and everything was OK for a little bit. And then there’s this new zeitgeist that almost feels like the last 10 years, ‘Live in the now! Live in the now!’ It’s just a different way of people to party and have a good time. Our way was the future threat. The way now is a zen mantra, anything that can get people to that point is a good thing.
Robbie: The Korean barbershop that I used to get my haircut at down the street from you Gav is still called “Haircut 2000.”
Gavin: You remember our travel agent, “Travel 2000”?
Robbie: You remember Andre 2000? He had to change his name.
Gavin: To what?
Robbie: Andre 3000. He did.