Coinciding with the largest record fair in the world – Utrecht’s Mega Record & CD Fair – this compellingly out-there festival will take over galleries, churches, warehouses and theatres across the Dutch city this November.
For a flavour of what to expect, Seattle-born Perfume Genius, on curation duty, has secured a very rare live appearance from Canadian singer-songwriter and cult hero Mary Margaret O’Hara, whose fans include Radiohead and REM’s Michael Stipe. Stipe once described O’Hara as a national treasure”, and indeed in the past she has collaborated with Morrissey, Tindersticks and This Mortal Coil. Adding to the mystique, O’Hara only ever released one album, 1988’s iconic Miss America.
Punters can also look forward to an appearance from Thurston Moore Group, iconoclastic Dutch/Iranian visionary Sevdaliza, Animal Collective’s Avey Tare, Sudan Archives’ first European gig, the intimate storytelling and panoramic sounds of Kevin Morby, and idiosyncratic avant-pop from John Maus.
This year Le Guess Who? is also continuing its longstanding flirtation with drones (the drawn-out audio kind, not those creepy quadcopter things), with artists including Suuns’ Ben Shemie, Big|Brave, violinist Jessica Moss, Roy Montgomery, Lea Bertucci, Indian-born sitar player Surajit Das and Hellvete, all taking turns in a 12-hour shamanistic experimental performance.
On a similarly spiritual quest is Said Anantam’s tribute to the ‘ecstatic’ music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, founder of an LA-based ashram in the early 1980s, whose stunningly diverse back catalogue was recently treated to a retrospective release on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop LABEL.
Tickets for Le Guess Who? are available here. Day schedules can also be found on the festival’s website.