Le Guess Who?’s Who 2018: Sibusile Xaba

There’s just two weeks to go before Le Guess Who? takes over Utrecht. With over 150 artists set to perform, how do we make sense of such a monumental line-up? We made a list of the artists we’re most excited to see and asked them for their recommendations.

Sibusile Xaba

Official Website

Performing Friday 9th November at TivoliVredenburg, curated by Shabaka Hutchings

With a mesmerizing voice, and guitar skills to match, Sibusile Xaba is one of the artists we’re most looking forward to seeing. The South African guitarist, songwriter and composer will bring to Le Guess Who? last year’s Unlearning /Open Letter to Adoniah, his otherworldly and moving debut double album, rooted in jazz and improvisation, inspired by dreams and paired with spirituality and ancestral invocation. When we asked Sibusile for his picks at the festival, he found it “challenging” to narrow it down to 3 from so many of his favourites. So here’s 4 of his recommendations:


Sourakata Koite

Performing Sunday 11th November at Theater Kikker

“Ever since I heard his sound/music I loved it, his tone and approach was very unique.
His instrument sounds very different, this draws me more to his music. “




Performing Thursday 8th November at TivoliVredenburg, curated by Shabaka Hutchings

“These are my homeboys and homegirl, I love their music, I think they are fantastic and they’re gonna rock Le Guess Who?”


Hello Skinny


Performing Thursday 8th November at TivoliVredenburg

“This brother right here is one cat I’m looking forward to hopefully working with in the future, he plays the drums just like his personality, super cool brother. Im a big fan of his composition skills as well. Amazing amazing amazing.”


Nicole Mitchell

Official Website

Performing Thursday 8th November at TivoliVredenburg

“My friend Lesedi Ntsane who is a great trumpet player based in the USA introduced me to her music. Something about her music is godly.”

Le Guess Who? will take place 8-11 November. For the full line-up, tickets and more info visit leguesswho.com. And take a look at other artists we’re excited about picking their own Le Guess Who?’s Who.

Le Guess Who?’s Who 2018: Orchestra of Spheres

There’s just three weeks to go before Le Guess Who? takes over Utrecht. With over 150 artists set to perform, how do we make sense of such a monumental line-up? We made a list of the artists we’re most excited to see and asked them for their recommendations.

Orchestra of Spheres

Official Website

Performing Saturday 10th November at Kytopia, curated by Shabaka Hutchings

New Zealand’s Orchestra of Spheres have us under their spell for a long time now. An incredibly inventive and outlandish band, they explore and experiment with an array of influences and genres from all over the place using a selection of handmade instruments. The band’s eccentric and ecstatic live shows are something that truly must not be missed and have earned them fans everywhere. And as if we weren’t already excited enough to see them at Le Guess Who?, Orchestra of Spheres have a brand new album on the way, Mirror, releasing on November 2nd. Have a look at their recommendations for the festival, with a few words from the band’s Baba Rossa (aka Daniel Beban).

Nicole Mitchell

Official Website

Performing Saturday 10th November at TivoliVredenburg, curated by Moor Mother

“Chicago’s AACM has had a profound influence on creative Wellington musicians musically and philosophically. They don’t know it but we feel like they’re our brothers and sisters : ) Nicole Mitchell’s on of the great flutists currently working in the so-called jazz world.”


Pan Daijing

Official Website

Performing Sunday 11th November at TivoliVredenburg, curated by Moor Mother

“Very keen to check out Pan Daijin who’s got a particularly fresh way of working … somehow quite traditional and super avant garde at the same time.”


Lonnie Holley

Official Website

Performing Thursday 8th November at TivoliVredenburg

“Lonnie Holley’s album ‘Just Before Music’ was on constant rotate on one of our OOS tours a few years ago… so beautiful, gets under your skin.”

Le Guess Who? will take place 8-11 November. For the full line-up, tickets and more info visit leguesswho.com. And take a look at other artists we’re excited about picking their own Le Guess Who?’s Who.

Le Guess Who? announces final line-up; Lonnie Holley, black midi, Alabaster DePlume, Yonatan Gat, Yves Tumor & more added

Now in its 12th year, Le Guess Who? is a unique festival celebrating and exploring an immensity of musical territories and artistic expression. The Dutch festival returns to the historic and charming city of Utrecht this November 8th – 11th with over 150 musicians and artists from across the globe and spanning generations, performing in a multitude of idyllic venues from churches and theatres to clubs and warehouses. The organisers, who had already announced an extraordinarily ambitious and monumental program, announced today the final line-up for this year’s event, adding 47 new phenomenal performers, including Lonnie Holley, Tirzah, Alabaster DePlume, Yonatan Gat, Yves Tumor and many more.

We won’t lie, we have been clutching onto our chairs with bated breath for the final additions to Le Guess Who? following the previous announcements, including co-curators Shabaka Hutchings, Devendra Banhart, Moor Mother and Asia Argento, and acts like Colin Stetson, Orchestra Of Spheres, Circuit des Yeux, ONCEIM, The Scorpios and Oliver Coates amongst many more.

Amidst the new exhilarating additions to Le Guess Who?’s 2018 line-up are the restlessly creative, thought-provoking and unpredictable musician and poet Alabaster DePlume; celebrated improvisational artist Lonnie Holley, joined by experimental duo of trombone and drums Nelson Patton; the minimalist instrumental works of Japanese percussionist and composer Midori Takada who unveiled this summer her first new music in twenty years; the weirdly wonderful R&B and experimental pop of Tirzah; explosive and enigmatic South London 4-piece black midi; Brazilian singer and songwriter Negro Leo with his concoction of samba, tropicalia, rock’n’roll and free-jazz and  Finnish producer and composer ISLAJA aka Merja Kokkonen with her hypnotic and beautiful melodies.

Other thrilling big news include a special performance from inventive and prolific composer and guitar virtuoso Yonatan Gat of Monotonix fame, joining forces at Le Guess Who? with Native American powwow drum group The Eastern Medicine Singers to perform his recent record UniversalistsDeep Fried Grandeur is another special and exclusive collaborative performance freshly announced that will bring together Chicago’s cosmic troubadour Ryley Walker and Tokyo’s psychedelic explorers Kikagaku Moyo. Visionary British quartet Seefeel will bring their debut album Quique to life at the festival to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its release.

Take a look at the complete list of performers added to the general line-up:

Swamp Dogg, Neneh Cherry, Lonnie Holley feat. Nelson Patton, Yves Tumor, Tirzah, Cass McCombs, Deep Fried Grandeur with Ryley Walker & Kikagaku Moyo, Midori Takada, Kelsey Lu, Senyawa, Seefeel performing Quique, Yonatan Gat & The Eastern Medicine Singers, Hot Snakes, Alabaster DePlume, Soichi Terada, Vive la Void, Hilary Woods, Madeline Kenney, Boogarins, Linafornia, Negro Leo, Miho Hatori, Virginia Wing, Eli Keszler, King Champion Sounds, Michael Rault, Sourakata Koite, Cindy Lee, Art Feynman, Black Midi, Urochromes, Islaja, Mark Wynn, The Avonden, Howie Lee, Tim Koh, Kaja Draksler & Terrie Ex, Ora Cogan, Luke Cohlen , Dekmantel Soundsystem, Sarah Hennies & Jessica Sligter, Cinema Perdu, Philipp Bückle, DNMF, Valley Maker, Thet Liturgiske Owäsendet, Olan Mill

We cannot wait for November to come for the splendid music celebration that is Le Guess Who? and if you don’t have tickets yet, Daily tickets and 4-Day Festival Passes are now available on leguesswho.com, where you can also find the full line-up and more info.

Future Feminism, RVNG’s 15th anniversary, ONCEIM, and more added to Le Guess Who? 2018

Taking place between the 8th and 11th of November in various idyllic venues across the charming Dutch town of Utrecht, Le Guess Who? had already whetted our appetite back in May with the first announcement of their thrilling and extraordinarily diverse line up, including forward-thinking performers like Colin Stetson, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Circuit des Yeux and Eleonor Friedberger amongst many others.

Le Guess Who?’s co-curators help set the tone of the festival, inviting their own favourite artists to play, as well as performing themselves. This year Shabaka Hutchings, Devendra Banhart, Moor Mother and Asia Argento enrich the program with their selections.

Prodigious multi-reed player Shabaka Hutchings, who has become something of a regular at Le Guess Who?, takes the curator seat this November, inviting an array of unique and exciting artists. Among the new names appearing in his curation are Martinique-born DJ Noss and New Zealand’s Orchestra Of Spheres, one of the most inventive and outlandish bands on the planet. Hutchings had already invited a slew of marvels and will himself perform with two of his bands, The Comet Is Coming and Sons of Kemet in a special XL format featuring four drummers.

Following her debut at Le Guess Who? last year, Philadelphia based interdisciplinary artist, Camae Ayewa aka Moor Mother returns as a curator. Newly added to her program are Amsterdam based Brazilian DJ, producer and vocalist LYZZA, experimental musician Eartheater hot on the heels of her third album IRISIRI, and South African duo FAKA, expressing their black queer experience and identity across various art forms including performance, sound, video, photography and literature.

Added to Asia Argento’s curation is a special theatrical performance by Future Feminism, the project founded by Kembra Pfahler, Johanna Constantine and Anohni, calling on a global feminine collective consciousness to save the world. Pfahler and Constantine, together with The Girls of Karen Black, have a performance in store based on the Future Feminism Tenets. Other additions to Argento’s program include actress and activist Rose McGowan, legendary producer and musician Martin Bisi, acclaimed and subversive artist Joe Colem, whose work encompasses panel paintings, comic strips, installations and performances and Escape-ism, the project of punk provocateur Ian Svenonius whose new album The Lost Record will be out just a couple of months before the festival. A discussion and screening of films will also be part of her curation.

Each year the festival hosts rare live performances and one-off shows and this year is no exception. French experimental orchestra ONCEIM (Orchestre de Nouvelles Créations, Expérimentations et Improvisations Musicales), made up of more than thirty improvisers, will perform two pieces at Le Guess Who?, Occam Océan by French composer Éliane Radigue, and Gruides, the first orchestral work by Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley.

Le Guess Who? are also partaking in the 15th anniversary celebration of boundary-pushing label RVNG Intl, filling the bill with some of the labels finest, including the versatile and daring drummer Greg Fox and Russian experimental producer Kate NV, whose recent album, для FOR, released in June, serves as a score to her “native Moscow environment”. Colombian civil engineer turned sound artist and musician Lucrecia Dalt joins in the celebration with her fusion of Colombian sounds and experimental minimalism. And incredibly talented experimental composer and cellist Oliver Coates, who has worked with everyone from Johhny Greenwood, Terry Riley and Mica Levi to Paul Thomas Anderson, will grace the festival with his new album Shelley’s On Zenn-La, set for release in September. The label’s milestone will also bear fruits at Le Guess Who?, with FRKWYS, their 12-inch series that “pairs contemporary artists and their progenitors”, premiering and recording a collaboration between Finnish electronic music composer Pekka Airaksinen and multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Ka Baird, known for electronically manipulating her voice and flute. A second FRKWYS collaboration will bring together vocalist and composer Ian William Craig and innovative classical electronic music composer Daniel Lentz.

Exuding and delivering brilliance at every turn, with an abundance of phenomenal events and an incredible array of known and lesser known artists, Le Guess Who? 2018 will be an experience like no other. Full details of the line-up, tickets and other info can be found on leguesswho.com.

Watch Circuit des Yeux’s new video for ‘Falling Blonde’

We can’t put down Circuit des Yeux‘s Reaching For Indigo, a timeless favourite record that made it to our 15 Album Picks last year. Haley Fohr, the phenomenal and adventurous musician behind Circuit des Yeux, has unveiled its fourth single, ‘Falling Blonde’, and an accompanying video directed and starring New Zealand based video artist Veronica Crockford-Pound. Here it is.

In other wonderful related news, Circuit des Yeux will unleash an expanded eight-piece ensemble featuring members of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra for a special one-off performance at Utrecht’s Le Guess Who? Festival this November. In addition to presenting an augmented version of Reaching For Indigo, Fohr’s performance will also include the first live rendition of previously unreleased music from the album’s sessions. With an initial spectacular line-up already in sight, and Circuit des Yeux as a huge highlight, we can’t wait for November to come.

Guest curators and first names revealed for Le Guess Who? 2018

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!