Utrecht’s one-of-a-kind festival Le Guess Who? is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, and the first announcements of 2022 are here! A diverse, inspiring and mind-blowing programme featuring both emerging and well-established artists, drawn from all corners of the musical spectrum.
We’ve been raving at length over the past few years about Le Guess Who?, who have been presenting one of the boldest and most adventurous festivals anywhere on earth since 2007. The 2022 edition will take place from 10-13th November and today the organizers have announced the guest curators as well as the first batch of artists and bands for the general line-up.
Le Guess Who?’s guests curators are an integral part of the festival, expanding and enriching its monumental programme with their hand-picked selections of favourite and like-minded artists. CURL, Animal Collective and clipping. are taking the guest curator seat this year and will also be performing themselves.
CURL is a London based collective and label who counts as founders Mica Levi, Coby Sey and Brother May. Their curation will host performances from South London guitarist and producer Leisha Thomas aka Alpha Maid, who is also a CURL member, lo-fi act bar italia, the blend of jazz and electronics from Speakers Corner Quartet & Friends, Copenhagen based composer, producer and viola player Astrid Sonne, experimental electronic artist Laurel Halo, TONE and Tutto Questo Sentire, an artist collective made up of experimental opera singer Olivia Salvadori, composer and cellist Sandro Mussida, and video and sound artist Rebecca Salvadori. Also integrating CURL’s programme is Maëva Berthelot & Coby Sey performing ‘A Tender Ascent’, an immersive audio-visual installation marrying filmed performance, 5.1 surround sound and sculpture, and Eve Stainton presents Dykegeist, with live sound by Mica Levi, a commissioned choreographic work. Experimental musician and poet Moor Mother and rapper billy woods also join this bill performing BRASS, their collaborative and tribute album to the plurality of Afro-American culture.
Founded in Baltimore in 2000, Animal Collective are an iconic experimental and indie-pop band, with a huge catalogue to their name and countless live shows. With a brand new album, Time Skiffs, released in February, the four-piece are well poised to perform it live at Le Guess Who?. Among the names appearing in their curation are Japanese tribal trio Kuunatic, French iconic and innovative musician Valentín Clastrier, New York folk songwriter Anastasia Coope and Berlin’s queen of avant-garde pop music Mary Ocher. Animal Collective have also invited experimental rock quartet and fellow Baltimoreans Horse Lords, Tuareg guitar band Les Filles de Illighadad, Catalan composer, singer and pianist Marina Herlop, who fuses her vocals with avant-garde classical music and experimental electronics, and Japanese avant-garde guitarist and improvising singer, Keiji Haino, who is no stranger to the festival having delivered a blistering and memorable show at the 2017 edition. Additionally, their curated bill features Lebanese electronic music producer Liliane Chlela, Norway’s improvisational avant-jazz ensemble Supersilent, and Maria Reis, a prominent name in Lisbon’s alternative pop scene, with a recently released new album under her belt, A Flor da Urtiga, counting Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) as producer and co-instrumentalist.
Pushing boundaries and crossing genres, clipping. is the experimental hip-hop trio of Daveed Diggs, William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes. Their programme will include experimental sound artist Evicshen, Chicago footwork producer Jana Rush, Japanese experimental hip hop group Dos Monos and They Hate Change, the duo of Dre and Vonne, whose third album Finally, New, is out this Friday May 13th. Appearing on their bill is also the beautiful, dark and galvanising music of Divide and Dissolve, and legendary guitarist Jeff Parker, known for his membership in groups like Tortoise, Isotope 217, Chicago Underground, as well as various collaborations and solo records.
Le Guess Who? pays special attention to underappreciated and underrepresented musicians of the world and the 2022 line-up includes a programme hosted by New York based Ostinato Records, a label that gives the spotlight to “Afrophone stories from the Atlantic and Indian Ocean.’ In addition to a talk by label founder and Grammy-nominated producer Vik Sohonie, there will be performances from Groupe RTD, the official band for Djibouti’s national TV station Radiodiffusion-Télévision Djibouti and Cape Verde group The Ano Nobo Quartet, who earlier this year released The Strings of São Domingos mixing koladera guitars with a variety of styles including flamenco, Samba and Marrabenta.
Le Guess Who? is also off to a stellar start with the initial general line-up boasting the likes of legendary South African composer Abdullah Ibrahim, London based Palestinian producer and rapper Bint7alal, German ambient/jazz quartet Bohren & der Club of Gore, Melbourne post-punk psychedelic outfit EXEK, Swedish psych rockers Goat, Czech husband-and-wife duo Irena & Vojtěch Havlovi and Kee Avil, the project of Montréal producer, singer, and guitarist Vicky Mettler. Congolese collective KOKOKO!, Jordanian-Palestinian artist Lil Asaf Bashar Suleiman aka Lil Asaf, Guatemala born and Mexico City based cellist and composer Mabe Fratti, Canadian singer and songwriter Myriam Gendron, the avant-garde cosmic sounds of Senegal-via-Sweden Wau Wau Collectif, and the spiritual jazz of Muriel Grossmann Quartet are amongst those confirmed to perform in November. Other exciting additions include The Staples Jr. Singers, a teenage family band from Mississippi whose rare 1975 gospel soul album When Do We Get Paid is being reissued this month by Luaka Bop, and musician OKI who is heavily informed by the music of Japan’s northernmost indigenous people.
Amidst the first thrilling names added to Le Guess Who?’s line-up is South African drummer and visionary musician Asher Gamedze and English actress and musician Keeley Forsyth with her powerful an otherworldly baritone voice. Gamedze’s Dialectic Soul and Forsyth’s Debris were both included in our Album Picks of 2020.
There’s a lot more on offer for this year’s edition of Utrecht’s Le Guess Who? and many more artists will be added to this daring and stellar line-up in the coming months. In the meantime, visit leguesswho.com for further information and programme announced so far.
The absolute musical treasure that will be Le Guess Who? 2022 takes place from 10 -13th November in several venues throughout picturesque Utrecht and 4-Day Festival Passes and Day Tickets are available now on leguesswho.com. Save the date and grab your tickets now.