Gavin is seminal figure in US dance music from his work in the 90s with Robbie and Scott Hardkiss. He has a new single out now – Everything Is Happening. And we’ve got an interview and a special giveaway of Gavin’s mix of the single. It’s a lovely little upbeat thing, full of simple joy. On with the interview:

1. How was your New Year? For ravers of my age, it’s all “watch ex-ravers of a certain age “have it large” before sheepishly heading home at 1am to relieve the babysitter.” or in my case, not being able to find a babysitter.

New Year’s Eve was better than ever.  Got home at 9:30am.  Total comedy.  Shouldn’t have driven but an hour soaking in the hot tub was as good of a sobering as I was going to get. Good thing there weren’t that many cars on the road because of the rain and it being New Year’s Day.  Hilarious people …. great music.
2. What’s the weather like where you are? [might as well conform to British sterotypes]. It’s grey and drizzly here. Typical London.

New Year’s Day was kinda drizzly in a British way.  This time of year it rains a lot and it’s been raining a lot throughout California this year.  I hear you got plenty snow.  
3. You claim a wide range of influences including Primal Scream and the Future Sound of London. But it also includes Gustav Klimt, the Austrian symbolist painter. Why is he an influence? And what’s Kevin Keegan doing there as an influence? Was it the bubble perm?

I’ve come to think I’m more of an artist than a musician.  Can’t paint though.  But I’d rather walk around a gallery of Klimt art than listen to much music from that era.  Klimt has a romantic sparkle.  Lots of gold and lots of beautiful girls.  Gotta love it.

Growing up in South Africa, all I did was play soccer and listen to tunes.  I loved Keegan and I loved Farrah Fawcett too.  Had their posters all over my walls.  Must have been the hair.
5. You lived in NY and Philadelphia in the late 80s / early 90s [Gavin was born in South Africa]. Who was your biggest musical influence in that period? 

Acid House and British Indie Dance – Farley Jackmaster, Fast Eddie, De La Soul, Bez, Ian Brown etc
6. You came to Europe in 1990. Why decide to do that and of all the people you saw who made the biggest impression?

I went backpacking around Europe with a college mate.  The biggest impression was Glanstonbury where I saw The Cure and Happy Mondays and danced all night to the Tonka DJs.  There were several people in that tent who have become close friends here.
7. My friend D maintains that white America never got into dance music in the early 90s as it was seen as either black music or gay music. Unfair or not? And will mainstream America ever embrace electronic music or is it now too late?

I dunno.  Though all the Hip Hop on the radio these days is dance music (so they tell me.)
9. You, Robbie and Scott (the other parts of the Hardkiss trio) often get described as siblings. Did you see it like that back then? And did you collaborate or work separately on tracks for the astonishing Delusions of Grandeur compilation LP (1995). 

Still see it like that.  LOL.  We worked together in interesting ways.  I had some technical skills with the sampler and the sequencer so I helped Scott and Robbie a lot.  Scott did some remixes for me.  Robbie did some remixes for Scott.  There was an interplay and exchange of ideas going on.
10. How do you now decide what comes out as Gavin Hardkiss and what comes out as Hawke (named after the derivation of Gavin)? And why call your first record “3 Nudes in a Purple Garden”, given it is so self-conscously hippyish.

Hawke is a fake band that I started in ’91.  It categorizes all the collaborations that I initiate with other artists, producers and musicians.  I try to create albums that are not restricted by tempo or dance music conventions.  At it’s best, these are songs that my kids can sing along to.   At it’s worst it’s sappy and sweet.  We like to listen to these albums all the time in our house and in our cars in the hills outside of San Francisco.  This morning I woke up to my 3 year old singing “In The Clouds.”.

Gavin Hardkiss likes to make people dance with his DJ sets and his productions.  Abstract … Yes!  Tomorrow night he will do this at Booty Call in the Castro to a room full of drag queens.

 ‘3 Nudes in Purple Garden’ started as a name of a painting that I never painted. 
11. You once rightly said that every home should have a copy of Orbital’s “Belfast”. Why? 

It’s a great song for the wife to give birth to. [I think my wife would have thought I was taking the Michael with lines like “I feel wasted”]
12. How did you get involved with Q BAM, given you’re West Coast and he’s over the other side in the retirement state of Florida? 

I have close musical connections with the Florida and I have always been well appreciated in those swampy parts of the USA.  Q BAM released some music on the Sunburn label in the mid-nineties.  I’ve always been a fan and he has always provided me with food for thought and, more recently, a home for my musical recordings.
13. What lies behind the title of your new single “Everything Is Happening At The Same Time”? 

The idea that at every moment in time here on Earth, everything is going on at the same time.  While I wrote the word ‘time’, someone died in a car accident, a set of twins was born, a little boy scored the winning girl, and another girl got her first kiss, a glass full of milk shattered on the floor, blood fell from the throat of sacrificed lamb, someone farted really loud in a classroom and a teacher gave her student head.  
14. What does 2011 hold in store for you? 

Robbie just moved less than a mile down the street.  We haven’t lived in the same city for over 10 years.  We spent this afternoon in the studio.  There will be lots more of that.
15. Finally, you’ve done countless interviews over the years. What’s your least favourite question (I hope I haven’t asked it)? 

I don’t mind any questions.  Sometimes I don’t have answers like when you asked me about black gay music?????

Hawke – Everything Is Happening At The Same Time

And the special giveaway, the original version: Hawke – Everything Is Happening At The Same Time

The package comes with the following remixes:

Everything Is Happening At The Same Time (Q-Burns Abstract Message Remix)
Everything Is Happening At The Same Time (Atnarko Remix)
Inside Job (Tal M. Klein Remix)
Everything Is Happening At The Same Time (Gavin Hardkiss Mix)
Buy from: Juno, Beatport

Gavin’s site:

~ by acidted on January 12, 2011.


  1. […] we had an interview with Gavin Hardkiss a few days ago, I thought we should have some of his earlier work. This post […]

  2. […] Chainsaw, on a recent single. But it’s been retuned and given a going over by Scott Hardkiss (here). See below for the story behind the curious choice of cover […]

  3. […] bent and a spot of female wailing. 3 Nudes In A Purple Garden is the other track to head for. Named after a painting that never got painted, it’s a sort of come down tune, eschewing the dance floor mores of much […]

  4. […] Here are two mixes to mark the shift from the working week into the weekend. We’ve another fine techno mix from Villette and a more eclectic mix from the legendary Gavin Hardkiss. […]

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