(This is the private promotional page for Forebrace at www.alexward.org.uk - all links shown above lead to the Alex Ward website. Please bookmark the current page for Forebrace materials.)


ALEX WARD: clarinet
ROBERTO SASSI: electric guitar
SANTIAGO HORRO: electric bass

"a monster of a group that embraces hard hitting predecessors like Last Exit and the textures of early fusion in an avant-garde metal approach." - Paul Acquaro, The Free Jazz Blog.

FOREBRACE is a new quartet led by Alex Ward and featuring Roberto Sassi (Vole, Cardosanto, Snorkel), Santiago Horro (Nøught, Luke Barlow Band), and Jem Doulton (Dead Days Beyond Help, Mr. Ron Jetson). Their debut album "Bad Folds" was recorded over the course of two intense days in the studio, prior to which the four had never played together as a unit. The material generated during these sessions (including not only several free improvisations, but also a number of performances based on compositional ideas made up by Alex on the spot) was then structured into a complex and absorbing whole in which paranoiac funk, disturbing atmospherics and full-throttle ensemble interplay co-exist side by side. While some immediate reference points for Forebrace's music might be the raging electric violence of Last Exit, the dense contrapuntal babble of Ornette Coleman's Prime Time ensembles, or even the pummelling immersiveness of Swans, "Bad Folds" also ventures into more abstract and unclassifiable realms drawing on the extended sonic vocabularies of all four musicians, and in particular Sassi and Horro's astute and disorientating deployment of a wide range of electronic treatments. (Ward also at points employs a defiantly crude form of electric tonal modification, by feeding his clarinet through a small amplifier pushed to the point of unhealthily overdriven feedback.) The strength of understanding and rapport between the band members can be seen to have its roots in their involvements and prior collaborations in both the London improvised music and avant-rock scenes (including Ward and Doulton's ongoing 7-year partnership as the duo Dead Days Beyond Help); and in Forebrace they draw from both worlds to create a distinctly new ensemble identity. "Bad Folds" is out now on Copepod Records.

FOR BOOKINGS, CONTACT ALEX WARD: alexjward@hotmail.com

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"a first-rate debut album which suggests that Forebrace will be an exciting group for some time to come" - John Eyles, All About Jazz. (Full review here)

"The sheer audacity of the sound leaves a gorgeous auditory residue lingering long after listening. This is one to seek out." - Paul Acquaro, The Free Jazz Blog. (Full review here)

"With ‘Bad Folds’ Alex Ward continues to solder together improvisation, free-jazz, and the outer limits of rock in fine fashion, highlighting the essential qualities of all and melting them together to form a sound both alchemical and vital.  ‘Bad Folds’ packs the exploration, fire, and insistent violence of all three approaches into one multi-faceted explosion" - Michael Holland, Ears For Eyes. (Full review here)