Anthology Recordings Surf Archive Series: Litmus / Glass Love

Aussie Andrew Kidman is — for lack of a better term — a renaissance man. Musician, painter, photographer, surfboard shaper, wave rider, filmmaker. That’s a lot of hats to wear by any measure but when he rolled up all of his passions and pursuits into one work - he stumbled upon a bit of magic.

In 1996 Kidman released the pivotal surf film, Litmus. An instant vintage surf odyssey that arrived at the perfect moment. You see — in the mid 90s, surfing was progressing in a manner that focused quite a lot on the shred hard/surf hard mentality… which is not necessarily a good or bad thing but during this time - some of the vintage soul and grace of the craft had been overlooked by the industry. With Litmus, Kidman captured highly stylized, artful surf in the vein of Morning of the Earth or Innermost Limits of Pure Fun. Some true 1970s surf film vibes, which (among other things) focused on the surfer’s relationship with the water…no matter what they rode or where they paddled.

With all that said - of course the film called for a dialed-in soundtrack.

Kidman’s band The Val Dusty Experiment (and others) put together an original score full of meditative, dreamy and challenging folk that served as the soundscape to the beautiful lines the surfers (Derek Hynd, Tom Curren etc.) drew up in the film. The sound and idea was surely rooted in his reverence of those masterful films before him and bringing things back to the communion and spirit of it all…and again, its release might’ve been when folks needed a reminder the most.

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