Monday 8 February 2016, 8pm
Great, visceral double bill with Forebrace – the quartet of Alex Ward (clarinet), Roberto Sassi (electric guitar), Santiago Horro (electric bass), and Jem Doulton (drums) – lining up alongside the New York trio of Chris Pitsiokos (saxophone), Noah Punkt (bass), and Philipp Scholz (drums).
“Bad Folds is a first-rate debut album which suggests that Forebrace will be an exciting group for some time to come. It reveals many fruitful avenues for the foursome to explore more deeply, and hints that theirs is going to be an intriguing story to follow.” – All About Jazz, review of Bad Folds by Forebrace
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.
Chris Pitsiokos (b. 1990) is a saxophonist, composer, and improviser. His music combines the intensity and immediacy of extreme rock forms and noise with the lyricism and forward propulsion of jazz and abstract detail of contemporary classical composers Iannis Xenakis, Brian Ferneyhough, and Helmut Lachenmann. A longstanding collaboration with Weasel Walter has produced two albums to date. Besides that, Pitsiokos leads three groups, which span the gamut of his composed material: Two quartets (one featuring Liberty Ellman, Max Johnson, and Tyshawn Sorey, the other featuring Jaimi Branch, Max Johnson, and Kevin Shea), and CP Unit (featuring Brandon Seabrook, Tim Dahl, and Weasel Walter). Other recent/current collaborators include Lydia Lunch, Peter Evans, Brian Chase, Mick Barr, Marc Edwards, Nate Wooley, Elliott Sharp, Tony Malaby, and Joe Morris. Chris has performed throughout Europe, Japan, Australia, and the US. Chris was a 2015 recipient of a generous grant from the Robert D Bielecki Foundation and his music has been featured in the Village Voice, WKCR, WFMU, and on Alex Ross’ blog, The Rest Is Noise. www.chrispitsiokos.com