For one weekend in November the picturesque city of Utrecht in the Netherlands becomes the epicentre of experimental, electrifying music as Le Guess Who? takes over the city's venues.

Now in its tenth year, the festival tasks a series of artists with curating the majority of its four-day line-up, ensuring a variety of up-and-coming acts as well as more established fare. This year the curators are Wilco, Savages, Julia Holter and Suuns.

We managed to catch up with three of the four curators for this year's festival to ask them about how they get involved as well as their top picks for the festival.


Savages

How did you get involved with the festival?

We had the honour of being invited by Bob Van Heur to curate the event, which was thrilling as we played the festival back in 2014 when Swans were curating. Back then we performed our project 'Words to the Blind' which is an ongoing collaboration with the band Bo Ningen. 'Words to the Blind', is a 37-minute, multilingual "simultaneous sonic poem" based around the dadaist concept of the simultaneous poetry, with each musician weaving their sounds around the text, within a structure of 5 chapters.

What about Le Guess Who? appeals to you as a band?

It's independent, the people involved - who are truly passionate - and the rich history of great bands that have curated over the years. It's one of my favourites.

What was your aim with curating your stage?

To see it as a chance to share interesting music we're currently listening to, to create an event that we want to attend, a party, a chance for people to experience something new.

Not to play favourites, but is there one act you've picked to play that you're particularly excited about?

One! I think we would have failed if I could easily answer that. I'm super excited about the electronic noise artist Container, I love the music I've heard on record/online. He is New York based and was recommended by friends, but I've never seen him play before. I Speak Machine is an awesome sonic/visual collaboration, Bo Ningen our long time collaborators are another favourite of ours, and I can't wait to experience Mario Batkovic.

Looking at the other curators' chosen acts - who would be your top pick to check out?

There are a few acts that I've not heard of, so it's a great chance for us to find something new ourselves. Off the top of my head, I would see Alessandro Cortini again, but be sure to check out as much you possibly can as many acts have flown from far away to be part of this event, so you might only get to experience it once.


Julia Holter

How did you get involved with the festival?

Bob, my booking agent, asked me to be involved. He has put on the festival for a long time, and I've performed at it in the past. It's a great one, so I'm glad to be a part of curating

What about Le Guess Who? appeals to you as an artist?

It has a lot of different musicians involved. Maybe I like that it's hard to sum it up and it's never "obvious" who they are choosing.

What was your aim with curating your stage?

I wanted to bring together musicians who share a kind of focus on "mystery" in their music, as well as a kind of playfulness. That's kind of what I love most in music if I have to be somewhat specific (though that's not specific at all).

Not to play favourites, but is there one act you've picked to play that you're particularly excited about?

I'm really excited about all of it--but there is this really unusual thing that is happening which is that a local medieval music choir is singing. I am really thrilled about that, and excited to hear how that will sound--Karolus Magnus.

Looking at the other curators' chosen acts - who would be your top pick to check out?

Pretty curious what Pauline Oliveros is going to do!


Suuns

How did you get involved with the festival?

We first played Le Guess Who? years ago before the new Tivoli complex was built. Our booker and best friend Bob put us on a big stage before we knew what the hell we were doing. It's been an amazing time since, we have basically played every year since.

What about Le Guess Who? appeals to you as a band?

Our friends first and foremost. We have a big crew in Utrecht and its always great to be there and hang out. We have also always had really special musical experiences at Le Guess Who?. We've been able to try new ideas out, sometimes for the first time. Also, it is one of the best musical lineups in the world.

What was your aim with curating your stage?

Having a diverse line-up that reflects our taste in music. We also wanted to have artists that have a 'sound' and that we would be excited to see live ourselves. We also wanted to make Bob happy.

Not to play favourites, but is there one act you've picked to play that you're particularly excited about?

Pauline Oliveros. Because she is a legend. But we'd be generally happy to just sit bliss out to all the musicians playing.

Looking at the other curators' chosen acts - who would be your top pick to check out?

Julia Holter's line up is full of good vibrations. And we would love to see Tim Hecker, Laurel Halo, and Laraaji.


Le Guess Who? festival takes place in Utrecht, The Netherlands from 10th - 13th November. More information can be found here