Nestled in the charming city of Utrecht, our favourite festival Le Guess Who? is a wonderful celebration of sound, with a truly adventurous spirit and welcoming atmosphere. Last week’s line-up announcement revealed 77 stellar names among which are many artists regularly featured on Cast the Dice, including DRINKS, Hello Skinny, Colin Stetson, The Comet is Coming, Circuit des Yeux and Oliver Coates, to name but a few.
Now in its 12th year of existence, Le Guess Who? is back in 2018 from November 8th – 11th. Held around a multitude of idyllic venues across Utrecht, from churches and galleries to theatres and warehouses, Le Guess Who? brings together trailblazing and cutting-edge artists from across the globe, transforming the city into a cultural melting pot of music and artistic experimentation.
Part of what makes Le Guess Who?’s line-up so special is the richness and diversity brought in by its guest curators. This year Shabaka Hutchings, Devendra Banhart, Moor Mother and Asia Argento will be inviting a slew of their favourite artists. Shabaka Hutchings is a prodigious multi-reed player and a longtime favourite of ours. A regular at Le Guess Who?, he’s performing again this year in two of his many projects, The Comet Is Coming and Sons of Kemet, the latter in a special XL format featuring four drummers. One of them is London based ingenious drummer-in-demand, producer and composer Tom Skinner aka Hello Skinny, who is also part of Hutching’s curated program, as is pioneering Indian classical musician Kadri Gopalnath, Japanese noise rock outfit Bo Ningen, spiritual jazz quartet Ill Considered and Ghanian superstar King Ayisoba amongst others. Devendra Banhart’s curation will host the likes of Ghanaian legendary guitarist Ebo Taylor, Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley’s collaborative duo DRINKS, ambient master Chihei Hatakeyama, folk legend Vashti Bunyan and more. After playing in last year’s edition, Moor Mother returns as a curator, inviting Egypt’s Islam Chipsy & EEK, Art Ensemble of Chicago celebrating their 50th anniversary, multi-talented flautist, bandleader and composer Nicole Mitchell and the Tunisian singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi known as the voice of the Tunisian Revolution.
Director and activist Asia Argento’s program features New York City experimental rockers Psychic Ills, Death In Vegas’ founder Richard Fearless, The Breeders and more.
This year’s edition promises rare live performances and one-off shows including Canadian boundary-breaking musician Beverly Glenn-Copeland as well as a collaboration between Saul Williams & King Britt. There’s two other exciting and unique collaborative performances premiering at Le Guess Who? in November: audio-visual performance collective Jerusalem In My Heart will perform an adaptation of the classical Egyptian work Ya Gorat Al Wadi with an oriental orchestra from Beirut and Circuit des Yeux will perform with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra to present an augmented version of Reaching For Indigo: Gaia Infinitus.
The first round of names for the general line-up have also been unveiled. As always, it’s a spectacular program boasting an abundance of incredible artists, including Oliver Coates, Hailu Mergia, Eleonor Friedberger, Colin Stetson, Anoushka Shankar & Manu Delago with MO Strings, The Scorpios and many more.
Le Guess Who? is an unmissable destination for musical explorers of all kinds. Head over to leguesswho.com to see a list of currently confirmed artists and more info. 4-Day Festival Passes are available for €117,50 until June 7th. Circle the dates now and keep your eyes peeled for more announcements!