Le Guess Who? is a festival that’s quite unlike any other event on the music calendar. With a curated lineup put together by some of the most exciting artists around, there are a lot of interesting and intriguing acts to see across the festival’s four days. Of course, being spread across so many venues and with some (looking at you De Helling) further out than others, it’s only inevitable that you’ll need to make some pretty tough choices.

Take this then as a good starting point for your Le Guess Who? plan. We’ve selected the acts we wouldn’t dream of missing this year, and also asked a few of our favourite artists to offer up their suggestions as well.

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Thursday

Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares (chosen by Visible Cloaks)

“I grew up with their music in my household as a child (from my mother) so it will always have a special place for me. As a live performance I'm sure it will be completely unreal.” 8:00pm at Domkerk

Grouper & Paul Clipson

Liz Harris’ work as Grouper has been a constant revelation with each album. Ambient, atmospheric vocals that are at once intimate and distant, they allow listeners to impart their own meaning on to the songs. At Le Guess Who? she’ll be joined by long-time collaborator Paul Clipson who will create psychedelic imagery to accompany her performance. Transcendental and transportive, it’ll be an experience like no other. 10:30pm at Domkerk


Friday

Marisa Anderson (chosen by Julie Byrne)

“She's one of the best finger style guitarists living in this world. One day, if I get up enough courage to speak to her, I'd like to ask if she might give me a lesson or two one day.” 8:45pm at LE:EN

Keiji Haino

One of many legendary artists gracing this year’s lineup, Haino will be making not one but two performances this year (the other being with dutch percussionist Han Bennik on Thursday). A wildly inventive and often surprising musician, Haino has been at the forefront of the Japanese noise and avant-garde scenes for the last 45 years. We’re not sure what to expect - will Haino forego vocals as he has done in the past? - but we know that know matter what it’s will be extraordinary. 9:20pm at De Helling

Dedekind Cut

The brainchild of Fred Warmsley, Dedekind Cut produces an amalgamation of ambient soundscapes and hip-hop production. It’s a beguiling combination, and will be sure to conjure an intoxicating, immersive experience in the early hours of Saturday. 12:30am at Cloud Nine


Saturday

Mario Batkovic

Mario Batkovic’s performance at last year’s Le Guess Who? was for many people one of their highlights. This year he returns with following the release of his self-titled record. This collection of hypnotic, evocative accordion compositions has been steadily gathering praise, so we’re expecting another memorable performance at this year’s festival. 6:40pm at Ronda

Pharaoh Sanders (chosen by Greg Fox)

“He's a legend and a master. I got to know Pharoah Sanders music at first mostly from listening to John and Alice Coltrane recordings. His playing on Journey In Sitchananda is especially influential for me, the way that his gestures on the instrument evoke natural landscapes and other visual images in my experience of listening. I got deeply into Tauhid and Village of the Pharoahs, and I got to see him live for the first time in 2015 and wept when he played The Creator has a Master Plan. I don't believe in YHVH per se but something about it rang deeply true- the way I recently heard Stevie Wonder singing that God is good and I can't help but agree in a way that's more important than the minor details. People should see him play because he is a master and he sets a strong example for all artists in the world.”

“Mr Sanders is the performance I most want to see at Le Guess Who? this year. Tauhid is one of my favorite records - Sonny Sharrock one of my favorite guitarists, and the album was a large influence on ‘The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull’.”(Also chosen by Dylan Carlson of Earth) 9:40pm at Grote Zaal

James Holden (chosen by Mario Batkovic)

“Le Guess Who? has such a large selection of musicians performing, it is very hard to pick just one act. But if I had to choose one, it would be James Holden, who curated me for this year’s festival and whose music is very dear to me. It is a pleasure to hear him perform live and to enjoy the festival.” 10:30pm at Ronda


Sunday

Visible Cloaks

This Portland-based duo have delivered one of this year’s best ambient records in the form of Reassemblage. As an album that deconstructs and transforms samples and vocals, we’re really interested to see how this will work in a live format. Visible Cloaks have a pretty early set on Sunday afternoon, so it should be an ideal way to ease you into the final day of music. 2:40pm at Theater Kikker

Aldous Harding (chosen by Jane Weaver)

“I've never seen her live yet and a few people have said she has a very expressive performing style - which I love, her record was recorded with John Parish who is always consistently great too.” 5:20pm at Aula Academiegebouw

Juana Molina

Juana Molina’s blend of Argentinian folk, myth and electronica reached it’s creative zenith with the release of Halo earlier this year. A weird, wild album that explores occult symbolism, it flits between infectious, yet minimalist electro-pop and introspective, yet experimental balladry. It’s an album that demands to be seen live. 6:20pm at Pandora