Today we’re heading to the Netherlands to cover Le Guess Who? 2018, Europe’s most adventurous music festival. This year’s edition has a huge variety of acts over the four days of music, with world-class acts curated by Moor Mother, Devendra Banhart and Shabaka Hutchings.
The best approach for such a diverse festival is to go expecting to try a bit of everything and anything, but in case you’re lost in the haze of indecision on where to start, here’s a list of some of the top places to start.
Swamp Dogg (Sunday at 22:20)
In 1970, soul artist Jerry Williams Jr. radically reinvented himself as Swamp Dogg – an anti-hero smashing the conventions of commercial R&B music. Now at 76, he’s done it again with his recently released album ‘Love, Loss and Auto-Tune’, mastering the art of… auto-tune? A reinvention of Southern soul for the 21st century – don’t miss out.
Midori Takada (Saturday at 20:20)
A cult figure of percussion hailing from Japan, who mixes African and East Asian music with minimalist jazz. Straight from the mouth of Le Guess Who?: “In her hands, any percussive object or piece of recording equipment becomes a totem of fine art, architecture, nature and minimal dance”.
JPEGMAFIA (Friday at 00:15)
An experimental rapper and producer from Baltimore and former servant of the U.S. Air Force, he released his fourth solo record Veteran to huge public acclaim, an abrasive reflection on American politics and the modern internet age. He released a colourful track ‘Puff Daddy’ two days ago calling out ‘fake rappers, new targets’. Get lost in one of the mosh pits that are bound to spring up at this set.
Sons of Kemet XL-version (Saturday 23:05)
British jazz group Sons of Kemet, curated by sax wizard Shabaka Hutchings, is “music played with punk drive, the immediacy of club music, riddled with jazz, dub and afrobeat”. In the XL-version, we’ll see an extravaganza featuring two extra drummers (four total), along with the ‘usual’ sax, tuba, and much more. They’ll be performing songs from the new LP ‘Your Queen is a Reptile’, a jazz celebration of black female icons throughout history.
Shintaro Sakamoto (Friday at 20:15)
Another fantastic Japanese talent, originating from the psychedelic Yura Yura Teikoku. Now, he performs seemingly upbeat pop with Hawaiian, airy jazz, and disco influences. But underneath the surface are hints at a deeper, darker meaning of post-apocalyptic exotica – a sound that attendees will have to come and explore for themselves.
Yves Tumor (Thursday at 00:45)
Come this way for music and performance as you’ve never seen it. A mixture of genres that’s hard to round up (hip-hop? Drone? Punk?), he stunned last year’s LGW with his show, and now he’s back to perform his new album ‘Safe in the Hands of Love’. “Pop at its utmost breaking point”.
Blanck Mass (Friday at 23:45)
A last minute announcement two weeks ago. Benjamin John Power aka Blanck Mass, also known as being one half of the Fuck Buttons Duo, brings his experimental drone/ambient music to Utrecht. We’re prepared for immersive, ethereal visuals and textural compositon. How are we going to choose between him and JPEGMAFIA?