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Jib Kidder Outernational Mix + Essay

Musician, painter and wordsmith Jib Kidder makes a monumental contribution to the Kit Mix archive. Selections without borders, from mouth harps to Cuban guitar, embracing the traveller in a poncho of weirdness. Hats off, shoes off, arms open (and touching musings to boot)…

‘I have a huge appetite for music, a very poor recall for names and titles, but a hunger no doubt, and I go on these obsessive hunts for ’90s Memphis rap cassette rips and Vietnamese funeral music youtubes. In contrast to that I listen to a lot of ambient music, over and over, only in my home and only when I’m alone – my wife can’t stomach it. I tend toward depression, toward a mood of dumb weight, a force of meaninglessness pushing you towards the floor, so it helps me to vibrate a feeling of meaningfulness into the air, stuff that makes a good ground for contemplation, the central act to what I nervously consider my “job”, though it does not make me enough money to support myself, let alone feed my son.


None of the music on this mix is “ambient” music, exactly. But all of it really does fit the Eno definition – the songs work at every level of zoom. And they hold up to repeat listens – this is not a mix of new favorites (well, admittedly, the Valet record came out like yesterday), it’s mostly tracks I have come back to again and again over the years. I used to paint. I used to smoke cigarettes. I was never very good at painting, I was great at smoking cigarettes, but at the moment I don’t really do either. This would be a great mix to smoke cigarettes and paint to and as far as I’m concerned that’s like the greatest potential for recorded music. I don’t really think it’s that fulfilling to write music while looking at a painting, and though I’ve pulled it off before, actually, pretty recently in Leipzig I pulled it off, smoking a cigarette while you play music is pretty difficult. My dad once quoted John Cage to me on the phone, or maybe he emailed me:

It is better to make a piece of music than to perform one, better to perform one than to listen to one, better to listen to one than to misuse it as a means of distraction, entertainment, or acquisition of ‘culture.’

I don’t agree with that at all, especially with regard to the present moment where there is a real diarrhea of making and a real dearth of actual listening and engaged performance. I’ll offer my own hierarchy:

It is better to paint than to do nothing, better still to smoke cigarettes while you do, and best to listen to records at the same time.

We played a show recently where Alex & Allyson Grey painted on stage during the set. They had healthy looking skin. They did not smoke cigarettes. A good time per me or Cage. For a few days after I didn’t feel heavy, didn’t feel depressed.’

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yximalloo – jkimigayo
asao kikuchi – addition/subtraction
tom recchion – the little green thing
tran quang hai – jew’s harp harmony
naked city – the sunken cathedral
leo brouwer – simple etude 9
julia holter – tragedy finale
valet – nature
cocteau twins – eperdu
mammoru fujeida – 4th collection Pattern 16
fiend – fired up (inst.)
roedelius – arcona
susumu yokota – azukiro
frank pahl – scavenger dessert
cylob – bryozoa

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