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Smooth, But Hardkiss

God Within
Crucial Introspection Parts One And Two EP

I first heard about Scott Hardkiss back in 1996, when he released a mix disc called Yes. At the time, it was one of the more interesting ones that I'd heard. Instead of going for straight-up sustained beats, it took a more laid-back approach, as well as one that encorporated quite a few different styles. Not only did he include tracks by Orbital and Future Sound Of London, but he also included original tracks like "Indian Summer" and the hugely catchy "Acid Funk."

After a disappearence of three years, Scott Hardkiss makes his return again as God Within and a four track, 40-minute EP that has a somewhat new agey name to it. Ah well, I guess that's what one gets for trying to be deep.

The disc starts off with the gentle breaks of "Infinitely Gentle Blows." Featuring some light piano playing and a light pitch-bent female vocal that drifts back and across everything, it very much reminds me of the track "Halcyon And On And On" by Orbital. Instead of a slowly-building track that finally reaches climax with a thumping beats, though, God Within plays along the entire track at nearly the same speed and instead cuts up the beats and vocal bits to break up what would end up being monotiny and comes out with quite a pretty track. The second track "Why, Why, Why" moves along at nearly the same pace with a simple beat structure and some sampled strings. In this track, it's a funky bassline and some atmospheric electronics that play off one another for desired effects. It's another fairly solid track, but it ends up dragging a bit in the late moments.

The second half of the the disc starts off with the full version of the aforementioned "Indian Summer" track from his mix disc. With a lick of guitar, a super-slow acid squiggle and a beat that never claws it's way over 100 BPM, it's another one that sounds the best in the morning after waking up from a long night of dancing. The disc closes out with a remix of "Why, Why, Why" that actually works even better than the original. By adding some clanging kettle drum type sounds and reversing a lot of the other percussion, the strings play a better role in the song and sweep things along more smoothly. Overall, the disc is a decent offering, and if you're into the lighter breaks sounds, it might appeal. Plus, it's a pretty good amount of music at a fairly cheap price, so that's always a bonus.

Rating: 6.5