The Netherlands' Roadburn Festival is unique in that each year, the organization invites a musician to independently curate part the lineup. This year is no different, as today, Roadburn announced that they'll be handing the reins over to two artists: Emma Ruth Rundle, and Perturbator's James Kent.
Emma Ruth Rundle (Marriages, Red Sparowes, solo) has established herself as one of the world's foremost ghostly folk artists — coating her music with tides of Grouper-like amniotic fluid. "While the genres may vary, each artist will be coming to the festival because of their ability to elicit a visceral and emotional reaction in my heart, and hopefully yours too," she said, of her curation strategy.
James Kent is better known by his stage name Perturbator, which has emerged as one of the most creative faces in the insurgent synthwave movement. Nobody does big, loud, purple synth better. "It is truly an immense honor for me to be the next Roadburn curator and I intend to keep to the tradition of inviting artists that will fascinate," he said.
Additionally, for the third year in a row, Roadburn is commissioning original pieces of music to make their worldwide debut at the festival. This year those projects include a collaborative performance between Perturbator and Cult of Luna guitarist Johannes Persson, which will serve as the marquee item on Pertubator's side of the bill. Jo Quail will join forces with a Rotterdam-based troupe of trombonists called the New Trombone Collective for what promises to be an intensely spooky seance. Vile Creature and Bismuth are working on a one-time-only piece called "A Hymn of Loss and Hope," and Julie Christmas will be debuting new material with a backing band that includes ex-Kylesa guitarist Laura Pleasants.
Roadburn 2020 happens on April 16 to 19 at Tilburg in The Netherlands. We'll learn more about who Kent and Rundle have booked in the coming months.