Can I call Le Guess Who? visionary while accusing them of musically unacceptable behaviour? But above all: Le Guess Who?, can I kiss you? We must love and cherish festivals like LGW? in Utrecht because there simply aren't many festivals like Le Guess Who? Not in the Netherlands. Not in Belgium. Not in Europe. Not even worldwide. Period.
LGW? is absolutely visionary. It delves and digs in. It punishes narrow-minded listeners. It has bravado. And it is guilty of musically unacceptable behaviour. LGW? can best be described as a plunge pool that nourishes (and educates) the soul.
After all, which festival has the guts to programme jazz (Pharoah Sanders, Shabaka & The Ancestors, Sun Ra Orkestra) and a 12-hour drone party together? Which festival programmes a Bulgarian women's choir, black metal, contemporary classical music and avant garde/improvisation in a seemingly rash manner? And this paragraph doesn't even do the festival credit. Because LGW? is much more than the sum of its parts. It is a shining musical example.
David Byrne recently released the catching ‘The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane’ on his own Luaka Bop label and LGW? was able to persuade The Sai Anantam Ashram Singers to perform this music live on stage. If you give the Thurston Moore Group a spot at the festival, then you might as well do an improvisational set with ICP drummer Han Bennink. LGW? gives non-Western music prominent time slots and prominent halls so you are sure to bump into it and be triggered by it. Finally, LGW? consciously commits to putting more women in the spotlight. Long live Kelly Lee Owens, Weyes Blood, Klein, Sevdaliza, Jane Weaver and the female DJs at the turntables.
Are we exaggerating? Probably not enough. Come here Le Guess Who? because I must ask: can I kiss you?
DE GOUDEN ZEVEN VAN LE GUESS WHO?
LE MYSTÈRE DES VOIX BULGARES
Superb Bulgarian women's choir that will perform in the Domkerk. Ibeyi and Gorillaz are fans. So are we. After a moment of fame (a Grammy Award and albums on 4AD) in the second half of the 1980s, the world is ready to rediscover them. Wanna bet? A new album with Lisa Gerrard will be released soon and you can listen in during their passage on our BRDCST festival on Wednesday, 4 April.
A whacking hard uppercut! Intense, pure and heartbreaking. With ‘A Crow Looked Upon Me’ (his extremely personal epic about the death of his wife) Phil Elverum has put himself in a category with Bill Callahan. No wonder his entire European tour is practically sold out. Where he finds the courage is a mystery.
JAMES HOLDEN & THE ANIMAL SPIRITS
Fireworks! And impressive how he has enriched his throbbing electronics with jazz and krautrock over the years. James Holden is the next level. And explosive. You can experience it during our BRDCST festival on Sunday, 8 April.
Now that we're on the next level: hail Shabazz Palaces! After passing through the AB three times, they are not unknown. That's due to their wonderful Afro-futuristic rap, with the blood of Sun Ra flowing through their veins.
What a voice! Weyes Blood was invited by Perfume Genius, who curated part of LGW?. Weyes Blood convinces due to her beautiful folksy songs with a grimy impact.
Once a member of the posse of Joey Bada$$ and active under the moniker Lee Bannon. His musical range is now located on the border of dark electronics and bursts of hip-hop.
K Á R Y Y N
Her roots are largely in Syria and since her opera ‘Of Light’ she is revered by Björk. A mixture of dreamy vocals, electronics and Oriental influences are her asset.