Inviting guest curators to build their own programs has become a hallmark of Le Guess Who? over the years. Featuring both their inspirations and fellow like-minded artists, this allows upcoming acts to perform alongside established artists. We are genuinely excited to now reveal the curators for Le Guess Who? 2021, as well as the first performing artists.
Curators LGW 2021
Le Guess Who? 2021 will see curated programs from John Dwyer, Lucrecia Dalt, Midori Takada, Matana Roberts and Phil Elverum.
With over twenty releases under a closely-related variety of names – Orinoka Crash Suite, OCS, Orange County Sound, The Ohsees, The Oh Sees, and Thee Oh Sees, and now just Oh Sees – multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter, visual artist and record label owner John Dwyer is arguably an icon in San Francisco’s garage scene.
Colombia-born, Berlin-based experimental producer and sound artist Lucrecia Dalt has developed an enigmatic sound marked by tactile and hypnotic layers, synthesizers and vocoding. With compositions that feel at once abstract and material, she casts a dark yet playful spell that feels like a mere glimpse into a rich and mysterious world of her own creation.
Chicago-born clarinetist and saxophonist Matana Roberts describes their work as “panoramic sound quilting”: think loops, field recordings, chanting and snippets of spirituals. As their ambitious conceptual project Coin Coin demonstrates Roberts’ research practice around themes of U.S history, ancestry, colonialism, and slavery is so deeply intertwined with their musical production that it’s hard to tell where one begins and the other ends.
Japanese composer and percussionist Midori Takada is a true luminary in the world of ambient and experimental music, playing solo, in various groups and theatre productions. Takada shows that the elements of minimal music are not a new invention, but a recalibration of ideas that serves as a source code for music from all over the world.
Taking his name from a spot near to his heart and home, Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie and The Microphones makes music heavily imbued with that foggy green mood of Washington state. In 2017 Elverum performed at Le Guess Who? in a lineup curated by Perfume Genius, and the next year released his performance as an album, ‘(after)’.
All curators will perform live at Le Guess Who? 2021; their curated programs will be announced at a later date.
Initial program LGW 2021
Le Guess Who? now also announces the first confirmed artists scheduled to perform as part of the general program of the festival, including acclaimed Duluth trio Low, known for exploring the musical edges of dark and light; Alabaster dePlume, who combines richly evocative jazz, spoken word, and folk, and will be artist-in-residence during Le Guess Who?; the guitar-led composition from São Paulo’s Kiko Dinucci; German ambient/jazz quartet Bohren & Der Club of Gore; Mazaher, an Egyptian ensemble who are inspired by different musical styles of the Zar, a healing ritual of singing, polyrhythmic drumming and dancing whose tradition is carried mainly by women; Dutch legend Ronald Langestraat, who – according to Bandcamp – “took Jazz to Outer Space” in collaboration with oddball-pop wonder Tim Koh; uplifting activist jazz from Chicago-based improvisational artist Damon Locks’ Black Monument Ensemble; the post-rock soundscapes and jazz-inflected post-punk of Black Country, New Road; Ghanaian Roots Reggae from Y-Bayani and Baby Naa and the Band of Enlightenment, Reason and Love, on their first-ever European tour; and SPAZA, a band with no permanent members, who’s performing line-ups are curated by the South African label Mushroom Hour Half Hour for the express purpose of recording improvised or workshopped material. The rotating South African ensemble will perform live for the first time at Le Guess Who?, presenting music from their previous releases, and will also set up a new recording project in Utrecht together with other musicians. Other artists added to the initial line-up of Le Guess Who? 2021 are Etran de L'Aïr, Sessa, The Necks, DJ Lycox, Conjunto Papa Upa, Model Home and Pink Siifu.
Tickets & dates
Le Guess Who? 2021 takes place from 11-14 November throughout the entire city of Utrecht. The festival presents music, film, visual arts and more, in pop venues, theaters, churches, museums, warehouses and public squares.
4-Day Festival Passes are available for €133,00 (incl. service costs). Day tickets will become available at a later date.