White Out: A means of obliterating the written word. A crippling weather condition. A jarring form of cinematic transition. A band.
Formed in 1995, arising from the lower depths of New York’s pre-gentrified Chelsea section, White Out thrust their original brand of experimental sound onto an unsuspecting public overloaded with Grunge and its immediate aftermath, and secretly yearning for a new musical direction.
White Out (whose core membership consists of Lin Culbertson: analogue synths, autoharp, flute, mystery electronics and otherworldly vocals, and Tom Surgal: drums, devices, celestial bells etc.) continue on in their unwavering assault of the sound/silence continuum, generating a healthy mixture of fear, spatial disorientation, cosmic ennui, and occasional beauty in their sonic wake.
Seven albums in, working with a variety of labels like Northern Spy, Ecstatic Peace, ATP, audioMER and No Fun, White Out has accumulated an impressive array of enablers along the way, including Thurston Moore, Nels Cline, Jim O’Rourke, and William Winant among others.
In March 2011, White Out capitalized on their multifarious connections with their fellow musical brethren by curating a month at John Zorn’s performance space The Stone, presenting 54 shows in total.
White Out’s latest release is entitled Accidental Sky, a collaboration with longtime friend and compatriot Nels Cline, on the Northern Spy label.