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.

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!