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Announcing the first artists for Rewire 2023

23 Nov 2022

Rewire is excited to announce the first round of artists and projects slated for its 12th edition, taking place in a wide variety of venues across the city centre of The Hague from 6 to 9 April. The line-up includes a unique collaboration between Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith, concerts by eccentric R&B star Kelela, pop innovator Fever Ray, legendary post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Ellen Fullman & The Living Earth Show.

As Rewire 2023 coincides with Easter, a national holiday, this festival edition expands its programme on Sunday later into the night. The long weekend from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 April will be preceded by an opening night on Thursday 6 April, with its lineup to be announced. Established artists and celebrated musicians are joined by emerging talents and undiscovered acts on the line-up of Rewire 2023 – what this wide variety of artists and projects has in common is their curious spirit, their drive as the vanguards of music to innovate and experiment. 

For its 2023 edition, Rewire is proud to announce the second performance ever of Perfect Vision by Soundwalk Collective & Patti Smith. This exciting new show features visuals by filmmaker Pedro Maia, and will be performed alongside musicians from Mexico and Paris, bringing an incredible array of indigenous instruments. 

Singular pop innovator Fever Ray will be presenting a new liveshow based around their upcoming album, marking their first live appearance in five years. Eccentric R&B star Kelela performs an exclusive show introducing her new LP, while legendary post-rock outfit Godspeed You! Black Emperor returns to Rewire with a set full of recent and to be released material. Other festival highlights include the European premiere of a site-specific performance of Elemental View by Ellen Fullman, performed with The Living Earth Show, inhabiting The Hague’s Nieuwe Kerk with a custom-built instrument of 136 20-metre-long strings. For the first time in Europe, Okkyung Lee presents her Yeo-Neun Quartet, which elegantly binds modern classical composition and freely improvised music with the emotive drama of Korean traditional music and popular ballads. 

Rewire 2023 also boasts a unique collaboration between experimental turntablists Maria Chavez, Mariam Rezaei, and Victoria Shen, premiering a newly commissioned performance for 12 turntables. Pioneering composer and performer Pamela Z combines experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, digital processing, and wireless MIDI controllers for a performance that includes works from her most recent solo album A Secret Code. Producer, DJ, and vocalist LSDXOXO presents an exclusive new live show based around his catchy and sexy brand of dance music. Check out the full announcement and read more about the performances below.

Please note: for Soundwalk Collective & Patti Smith an additional Plus Ticket is required. Tickets for the opening night on 6 April will be available at a later date. Order tickets here: rewirefestival.nl/tickets

First artists and projects for Rewire 2023:

33 (Billy Bultheel & Alexander Iezzi)
ABADIR feat. HOGIR
Dienne
Ellen Fullman & The Living Earth Show
‘Elemental View’
Fever Ray
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Himera
(live A/V)
Joe Rainey & String Quartet
Julia Reidy
Kelela
LSDXOXO
(live)
Lucy Gooch
Lucy Liyou
Maria Chavez + Mariam Rezaei + Victoria Shen
Moin
No Plexus & Emmanuel Biard
(live A/V)
Nwando Ebizie ‘The Swan’
Okkyung Lee’s Yeo-Neun Quartet
Osheyack
Pamela Z
‘A Secret Code’
Patrick Belaga, Asma Maroof & Tapiwa Svosve ‘The Sport of Love’
Rachika Nayar
Rainy Miller
Sarahsson
Sélébéyone
Soundwalk Collective & Patti Smith
‘Perfect Vision’
Steve Gunn & David Moore
The Dwarfs Of East Agouza
Thomas Ankersmit

Rewire 2023 first artist announcement – In depth

The collaboration between Soundwalk Collective and the legendary artist, poet and performer Patti Smith is a live adaptation of the Perfect Vision triptych of albums which take their inspiration from the writings of French poets Antonin Artaud, Arthur Rimbaud, and René Daumal. Central to the work was the poets’ travels to different lands to find new perspectives about themselves and their art. Soundwalk Collective & Patti Smith, together with musicians from Mexico and Paris perform a new version of their liveshow, with visuals by filmmaker Pedro Maia.

Showcasing their bold aesthetics and distinctive voice as Fever Ray, Karin Dreijer has continued to push the boundaries of electronic music and pop. Their highly-awaited third album Radical Romantic is to be released in March 2023, a month before their live show at Rewire 2023. Kelela finds her own ways to expand the sonic ranges of pop and club music, reshaping contemporary R&B with brooding instrumentals, soaring vocals, and glistening sound design. Recently, Kelela released lead singles Washed Away and Happy Ending off of her upcoming studio album Raven, returning with new music after five years. Producer, DJ, and vocalist LSDXOXO is known for his arousing blend of club and pop, leaning towards erotically charged and catchy dance tunes in the realm of techno, house, and trap.

The epic yet doom-laden music of the elusive Canadian post-rock group Godspeed You! Black Emperor remains the perfect soundtrack for the late-capitalist hell world. On stage, their immersive sound world is expanded by expressionist 16mm film projections. Meanwhile, Moin (Tom Halstead, Joe Andrews, and Valentina Magaletti) give their unique answer to post-hardcore and place it in a contemporary context with a forceful live performance that feels like a near-radical injection of sonic adrenaline. 

Inviting the listener to discover details of the physics of string vibration itself, pioneering composer and performer Ellen Fullman will inhabit The Hague’s Nieuwe Kerk, alongside The Living Earth Show, with her Long String Instrument consisting of 136 20-metre-long strings, precisely tuned and configured for Elemental View, a singular work in six movements. 

Rewire and Counterflows festival have commissioned sound artists, turntablists, and performers Maria Chavez, Mariam Rezaei, and Victoria Shen to present a new collaborative piece for 12 turntables. For this performance, Victoria Shen will employ her “Needle Nails,” acrylic nails with built-in turntable needles that allow for simultaneous playback of multiple sound sources on the same record. 

Composer and performer Pamela Z is a pioneer of live digital looping techniques, processing her live voice to create dense sonic layers. She explores the relationship between (digital) sound production, gestural input, and haptic feedback, combining voice, live electronics, sampled sound, and video in real time, weaving complex and beguiling musical pieces from a plethora of sources.

Widely regarded for her solo and collaborative improvisations and compositions Okkyung Lee presents her Yeo-Neun Quartet for a performance of Yeo-Neun, which represents the culmination of one of the longest and most intimate arcs in her remarkable career. It elegantly binds modern classical composition and freely improvised music with the emotive drama of Korean traditional music and popular ballads.

Joe Rainey channels and echoes the cultural histories that preceded them and approaches these influences with a contemporary sonic toolset. Rainey delves into the history of indigenous pow wow singing and recontextualizes these ancient song forms in exciting and new in-between places. Philadelphia-based artist Lucy Liyou synthesises field recordings, text-to-speech readings, poetry, and elements from Korean folk opera into sonic narratives that explore the implications of Orientalism and westernisation. 

Together with her band, the British Nigerian multidisciplinary artist Nwando Ebizie will perform music from her long awaited debut album The Swan, a sprawling, Afrofuturist, genre-bending opus of polyrhythmic bliss. Just as adventurous is the intercontinental jazz and rap collaboration of Sélébéyone, presided over by jazz mainstay Steve Lehman (Los Angeles). This enchanting collective is also comprised of MCs HPrizm (New York) and Gaston Bandimic (Dakar), and saxophonist Maciek Lasserre (Paris). 

The worlds of guitarist and vocalist Steve Gunn and pianist and composer David Moore collided when Moore, the mastermind behind Bing & Ruth, worked on a remix of Steve Gunn’s Reflection. It was the starting point for a more in-depth collaboration that resulted in an upcoming album and a live performance, where the guitar virtuosity of Gunn interacts with the electroacoustic minimalism of Moore. 

By fusing classical music with metal, experimental electronics, and hardcore, the Bristol-based composer, producer, performance artist, and DJ Sarahsson creates a distinctly personal style through which she explores themes like queerness, identity, history, and belonging. Billy Bultheel and Alexander Iezzi team up as 33 for an equal-parts brutal and beautiful array of banging hardcore rave, artful punk, and haunting chamber music, performed by an ensemble consisting of Alexander Iezzi (drums), Billy Bultheel (keys) , Patrick Belaga (cello), Steve Katona (contra tenor), and Ivan Cheng (vocalist). Patrick Belaga also performs alongside Asma Maroof and Tapiwa Svosve for a semi-improvisitional staged version of The Sport of Love, their forthcoming album on PAN. The trio The Dwarfs of East Agouza formed in Cairo, consisting of Maurice Louca, Sam Shalabi and Alan Bishop, combines repetitive North African drums, free jazz guitar, and motorik acoustic bass à la krautrock in a colourful and lively blend of hot psychedelia. They will perform their upcoming album to be released on label Sub Rosa.

Amsterdam-based producer Himera will rework their maximalist hyperpop opus Sharing Secrets into a new A/V show, with visuals from designer and artist Otso Reitala. Also premiering a new A/V performance is No Plexus, Rewire’s Young Artist in Residence for 2023/2024. For their Rewire 2023 performance, the leftfield electronic music duo collaborate with renowned visual artist and lighting designer Emmanuel Biard, who also worked on the stage and lighting design of Evian Christ’s Rewire 2022 performance. 

IDM meets the rougher edges of club music in the distinctive sound world of Osheyack, a shining example of the new hybrid form of extreme club music, hailing from pioneering labels like SVBKVLT. Just as intense is the new liveshow of ABADIR, who teams up with percussionist HOGIR for a hybrid of live percussion with highly energetic blends of arabic rhythms, jungle, footwork, and juke. In the hands of producer and vocalist Rainy Miller, elements of ambient, drill, and Auto-Tune rap become an expressionist canvas for earnest songs full of yearning and introspection. 

As heard on her critically acclaimed new album Heaven Comes Crashing, Rachika Nayar takes sonic cues from rave music, but her pummelling amen breaks and thundering electronic breakdowns are like crescendoing waves in the otherwise hazy fog of her digitally-altered guitar loops and shimmering ambient productions. On their latest album World in World, guitarist and composer Julia Reidy also explores the outer ranges of the guitar. Their microtonal, ambient compositions employ non-conventional tonal arrangements, electronic processing tools, and vocals to realise experimental and emotive sound pieces. 

Bristol-based artist and vocalist Lucy Gooch paints her own evolving ambient sound world filled with vivid colours and radiant soundscapes. Belgian composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Dienne combines analogue instruments like the oboe, the piano, and the flute with reverb-drenched vocals and shimmers of processed electronic sources, turning these sources into hazy pieces of music full of the melancholy of remembrance and loss. Her debut album Addio was released this year on Nicolás Jaar’s Other People imprint. 

With the upcoming 50th anniversary in 2023 of the Serge synthesiser, the work of Berlin-based sound artist Thomas Ankersmit, who has worked almost exclusively with the instrument for over fifteen years, is revelatory. During Rewire 2023, Ankersmit explores a unique kind of physicality of the instrument, one that involves the composition of imaginary spaces through sound, or perhaps “a cinema for the ears.”

More artists and projects, as well as an extensive discourse programme of talks, workshops, and screenings will be added in the coming months.