It promises to be an interesting 2019 edition of Le Guess Who? 2019. The festival will take place from 7 till 10 November in Utrecht in The Netherlands. The organisation announced the first 87 acts for the coming edition, with a few interesting names for the lovers of Japanese music.
From familiar names, such as Acid Mothers Temple and Haco, both toured Europe a few times before, to (maybe) less familiar names as Eiko Ishibashi, Oorutaichi and Visible Cloaks with Japanese avant-garde artists Yoshio Ojima and Satsuki Shibano and Minyo Crusaders. They will all perform at Le Guess Who? 2019.
Acid Mothers Temple are a collective, active from 1995, and known for touring extensively over the world. The band was just last year in Europe. Le Guess Who?: “From psychedelic freakouts to Stockhausen-inspired noise incursions, from minimalism to 70’s prog rock; to go from Black Sabbath all the way to Terry Riley, Acid Mothers Temple is your best gateway drug.” Acid Mothers Temple will perform on the Saturday of the festival.
Musician and sound artist Haco toured Europe last year with Czech electronics artist Tarnovski, to promote her seventh and latest album Qoosui. Haco is a composer, vocalist, electroacoustic performer, sound artist, and a founding member of After Dinner (1981-1991) and Hoahio. With her unique sensibility, Haco has developed a practice based on principles of post-punk, electroacoustics, the avant-garde, improvisation, post-rock, environmental sound, and technology. In 1999 Haco founded View Masters, a collective that picks up and collects sounds from everyday life. Haco will perform on the Saturday of the festival.
Oorutaichi (オオルタイチ), also known as Taichi Moriguchi, is a producer who has been creating “imaginary electronic folklore” since 1999, the music he makes are joyful and surprising in the direction of extravagance with a dose of cuteness (as can be seen in the animations that have been put out). Le Guess Who?: “(He) shakes the rules of techno, electro-pop and sampling like a can of soda and lets things fly with contagious enthusiasm and heart.” Oorutaichi is also active in the band Urichipangoon and works with YTAMO, among many other artists he has worked together with. Oorutaichi will perform on the Saturday of the festival.
Singer-songwriter Eiko Ishibashi can be described as a multi-instrumentalist whose work has ranged from acclaimed singer-songwriter albums to film scores for film and television to improvised music settings. She worked together with artists as wide-ranging as Keiji Haino, Charlemagne Palestine, Merzbow, Akira Sakata, John Duncan, Oren Ambarchi, and Jim O’Rourke. Her music spans from genres like classical, jazz and improvisation. Her latest solo album was The Dream My Bones Dream, that got published in November 2018. Eiko Ishibashi will perform on the Thursday of the festival.
Minyo Crusaders rework traditional Japanese folk songs (minyo) with Latin, African and Caribbean rhythms to breathe new life into these catchy songs. Just last month, the 10-piece released the album Echoes of Japan. “For Japanese people, minyo is both the closest, and most distant, folk music” explains band-leader Katsumi Tanaka: “We may not feel it in our daily, urban lives, yet the melodies, the style of singing and the rhythm of the taiko drums are engrained in our DNA.” Originally sung by fishermen, coal miners and sumo wrestlers, these songs deal with topics such as the returning spirits of ancestors, Japan’s smallest bird (Toichin Bushi) and a bride’s undying love for her husband’s pockmarked face, evoking nostalgia for a forgotten Japan. They will perform on the Saturday of the festival.
Earlier this year, American duo Visible Cloaks worked with Japanese avant-garde artists Yoshio Ojima and Satsuki Shibano for serenitatem, as part of a collaboration series by independent label RVNG. Yoshio Ojima is a composer of environmental and ambient music, with a bias toward the possibilities of generative software. Satsuki Shibano is a pianist, best known for her interpretations of Erik Satie and Claude Debussy. The music the four finally put out on the album is MIDI-based. Le Guess Who?: “As a result, they made music that blurs concepts between the human-made and machine-made, almost sentient in its progression and emotional charge.” The quartet will perform on the Thursday of the festival.
An extra tip for this festival is TENGGER. Their base is in Seoul, the band name means Sky god in Mongolian, but the band consists of a mix of Japanese and Korean members: itta who is the vocalist and plays on the Indian harmonium is the Korean band member and Marqido who plays on the analogue synthesizers is the Japanese band member. TENGGER formed under the name 10 in 2005 and evolved in the current band name in 2012. Together they make a combination of electronic psychedelic and drone music. Travelling (what they see as a spiritual experience in real environments) and the feedback from their audience have been the central themes of TENGGER’s work. TENGGER will perform on Friday.
Le Guess Who? is a festival that is dedicated to showcasing boundary-crossing music from all over the world, that questions the existing and embraces the unknown. During four days, Le Guess Who? takes over the entire city centre of Utrecht with over 150 performances set to electrify pop venues, theatres, churches, galleries and warehouses. Satellite events with music, film, visual art, photography and markets appear at cafés, hotels, restaurants, wharf cellars, squares and the hidden corners of the city. Day tickets for Le Guess Who? are on sale now.
Source: Le Guess Who?