New curator! Meet Job de Wit, who is about to select the best (pop) music and films just for you.Published 30 May 2016 at 11:25 by Liedewij Loorbach
He suffers from xenomania, he says. The insatiable need to consume music and films. Job de Wit, music expert and film lover, has joined our team of curators and is starting his quest to find music and film that is both popular and cutting edge – just for you.
Selecting: Job (44) has been doing that for all of his working life. Once upon time, he selected when he was putting together radio shows for the VPRO (1995-2006). As editor for Dutch music magazine Oor (1998-2004), he’d select four albums to discuss each month. For the past years, as a co-founder of the music magazine Pause, he’d select the best music journalism from worldwide press to collect them in the application. And for his evening Fullscreen in De Balie, he selects video clips.
Now you’re going to be selecting the best pop music and best films for We Are Public. Why?
“It’s so ingrained into me, to stay up to speed with everything. I enjoy sharing the things that I think other people would like and find enjoyable.”
Is there music that you like, that you don’t share?
“Sometimes I think: this is a real Job-thing. Like when I went to a concert by Scritti Politti recently, a British pop group, in London. My first ever LP was from that band, and it was the first time in ten years that they were performing. I didn’t bother anyone else with that. I can’t explain why that music touches me so.”
Taste is always really personal, isn’t it?
“Yeah, people ask me sometimes: what should I listen to? But I might think something is fantastic, while you might not like it at all. My taste is so closely related to who I am, to how I was raised, to my experiences. Who am I to determine the value of music? I’m more interested in why people attach value to certain music.
How do you keep track of everything?
“Film isn’t too complicated, there are about eight new films released each week and if a film is subject to only bad reviews, then I don’t bother watch it. Music is trickier, but I’ve developed a technique, or antenna. I have a kind of database in my mind, with names and labels and that sort of information stored in it. If something is released, I pretty much know immediately if I want to listen to it. And, generally, I know if I think it’s good the first time around. But I do miss things, too, sometimes.
Can you judge films that quickly too?
“The way I watch films is very different, much more naive. I sit down and let it come over me. If I enjoy that, that’s when I think about what it is that I like about it. People from the film world have a very different approach or perspective, they quickly have opinions about sound, or directing, or camera work.”
What music genres do you keep track of?
“I’m not easily categorised. Hip hop, pop, r&b, dance, obscure electronica. The only thing I’m not into is heavy metal, I never quite got that. I think that the overarching aesthetic is that it’s pop and simultaneously smart and original. Beyoncé and Kanye West are my two favourite pop stars. I seek out the tension between popular and cutting edge, the meeting point between pop and art.”
How do you do that, keep track of music?
“I listen to new music all day, that can include old records that I just hadn’t heard before. I definitely have xenomania. Not that I suffer under it, I actually enjoy it thoroughly. I rarely listen to anything more than once, maybe twice, and very rarely something can stick around for longer. To organise my chaos I write lists. If anyone wanted to know which songs I liked best in the third quarter of 2013, I can get you that information. I share that kind of thing now, too, through Spotify [https://open.spotify.com/user/jobdewit/playlist/14x7KJ8k5RvLxWgB32CB1e].
Have you got anything else you want to say to the members of We Are Public?
“I really enjoy getting feedback. So if I have selected something, I’d really like to hear what people think. Get in touch on twitter, for example, or email, or strike up a conversation at a concert.”
Want more Job in your life? Sign up for his newsletter. [http://bit.ly/jobstijdingen