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Gated -114CD ( 2021)

by Alex Ward

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Six panel card sleeve with artwork by Efthymios Stavropoulos.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Gated -114CD ( 2021) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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Heat Patch 02:05
Let 06:27
Buyout 05:23
Hewn 18:23
Stilled 05:20
Cushioned 14:38
Brow 04:28


"There are enough ideas in the first couple of numbers to fill a whole album, with wailing sax and clarinet and lightning propelled guitar in the brief opener ‘Heat Patch’- think Zappa- then Fripp in ‘The Celebration Restriction’. It’s a whirlwind, visceral listen with the free spirit of experimental jazz and the nous of heavy rock." Phil Jackson, ACID DRAGON

Conceived and realised over an 8-month period of intense solitary work, "GATED" is Alex Ward's most ambitious musical statement to date. The ten pieces employ all of Alex's instrumental resources as a performer, featuring clarinets, saxophones, guitars, keyboards, electric bass and assorted software instruments; and furthermore they draw on everything he has learned during his three-decades-plus of activity as a free improviser, composer/bandleader and sideman. The result is a dense and multi-layered array of detailed compositional structures, headlong improvisational flights and deft studio manipulation.

As the conception of the album progressed and Alex resolved to let his ideas develop in a manner unfettered by anything other than his own aspirations and abilities, he strove to create a work which would inhabit a wide-open stylistic and sonic terrain without succumbing to the pitfalls of pastiche. The range of instrumentation and attack deployed throughout the album might at various points suggest any number of strands of avant/experimental rock, AACM-and-beyond traditions of creative music, or post-Darmstadtian chamber rigour; but rather than generic signifiers being employed as decoration or even tribute, in "GATED" every musical element is mined for the most fertile and least standardised possibilities it can yield. Despite the album's startling diversity of sound and atmosphere, a consistent set of compositional and aesthetic principles underlies its entire contents.

This album is dedicated to Simon H. Fell (1959-2020).


released July 13, 2021

All compositions by Alex Ward (PRS).
All instruments performed and/or programmed by Alex Ward.
Produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Alex Ward at Stowaway Studios, July 2020 - March 2021.


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Discus Music Sheffield, UK

Discus Music was founded in 1994 by Martin Archer. The label releases leftfield rock music, free jazz, extended songform, electronics, improvised music, and other sounds which defy categorisation.

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