The whitest boy alive goes out on the whitest tour ever

Elrend Øye’s gliding jet of a not-electronica band, The whitest boy alive, soon embarks on a light-as-spring tour of Europe labelled The whitest tour ever. For the first five shows they will bring with them the Norwegian trio Kommode.

The Whitest Boy Alive på Island (Foto: Christian Lysvåg)

Calling The whitest boy alive a “not-electronica” band, which is Pitchfork’s phrase, stems from the fact that they started out as an electronic dance music project, that was in 2003, but then slowly developed into a four-piece band with no programmed elements. Yet, even though the beats are played, they are still metronomic and minimal. And the instrumentation as such follows the same pattern; clean symmetrical and transparent parts that come and go and glide past, over and around each other. This music is more like a tranquil little school of fish, moving like fish do, in an aquarium. The sparse elements do not really interlace, and mesh and build and wool-up, like organic bands tend to let them. The whitest boy alive are true to the bit-stream of electronica, which they infuse with the marvel of soul that comes from true, played, instruments. They display this brilliantly; the utter difference of human playing from programmed sounds, which emerges when a band plays with such serene - or detached- coolness of intention.

So it is electronica, structurally and atmospherically, but brought alive, like a resurrection. And with no programmed elements Dreams, last year’s album, was nominated for the Norwegian Grammy awards in the electronica category. In the live context the soul elements come more to the fore, and improvisation comes into play. Bandmaster Øye measures out the scarcity of elements and proves how the littlest and quietists shifts and happenings can constitute great lifts and delicious winds when the flow of the ongoing music is kept thin and unwavering, like the gliding of an engineless plane.

The spring’s first show for The whitest boy alive went down yesterday; it was the Roskilde festival kick-off party in Copenhagen. The rest of the tour commences in about a week in Munich. Here are the dates:

04-19 Copenhagen, Denmark - Amager Bio (Roskilde launch party)
04-28 Munich, Germany - Hansa 39 @ Feierwerk
04-29 Milan, Italy - Magazzini Generali
04-30 Marseille, France - Cabaret Aleatoire
05-01 Toulouse, France - Le Kleo
05-02 Paris, France - Fleche D'or
05-03 Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Paradiso
05-04 Cologne, Germany - Bogen 2
05-05 Brussels, Belgium - Les Nuits Botanique
05-06 Bremen, Germany - Spedition
05-07 Düsseldorf, Germany - Zakk
05-08 Mannheim, Germany - Alte Feuerwache
05-09 Dresden, Germany - Showboxx
05-10 Leipzig, Germany - Conne Island
05-12 Berlin, Germany - Tape
06-22 Barcelona, Spain - Apollo
06-23 Madrid, Spain - Sala
08-17 Bielefeld, Germany - Forum
08-18 Biddinghuizen, The Netherlands - Lowlands Festival

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