|Origin||Brixton, London, England|
|Past members||Charles Bullen
This Heat were an English experimental rock band, formed in early 1976 in Camberwell, London by multi-instrumentalists Charles Bullen (guitar, clarinet, viola, vocals, tapes), Charles Hayward (drums, keyboards, vocals, tapes) and Gareth Williams (keyboard, guitar, bass, vocals, tapes).
This Heat were active in the ascendancy of British progressive rock and punk rock, but stood apart from those scenes due to a radically inventive approach that touched on numerous different styles and genres, but was always confrontational and politically charged. Their commercial success was limited, but This Heat are widely considered a link between early 1970s music (especially krautrock) and such later experimental genres as post-punk, industrial music, post-rock and noise rock. This Heat's influences included Can and Lee "Scratch" Perry.
This Heat's first radio airplay came in early 1977 from legendary DJ John Peel, to whom they sent a demo tape recorded in the top room at Hayward's parents' house in Camberwell as this was before they had moved into their 'Cold Storage' studio, which they converted from a disused cold storage room which was part of an "Acme Studios" artists studios complex in Brixton. During this time, they also recorded a session with Ghanaian percussionist Mario Boyer Diekuuroh, parts of which later appeared on a 1982 split cassette with Albert Marcoeur, released by the French experimental rock magazine Tago Mago.
Their self-titled debut album was recorded between February 1976 and September 1978 in various studios and venues, and was released in August 1979. It was characterized by heavy use of tape manipulation and looping (especially on the track "24 Track Loop" which was a loop actually on the 2" master tape), combined with more traditional performance (including quite a lot of live stereo microphone in the room recordings) to create dense, eerie, electronic soundscapes. Shortly thereafter, This Heat released the Health and Efficiency EP, which foreshadowed the more rock-oriented sound of their subsequent album.
Deceit, the band's second and final album, was produced with help from noted reggae mixer Martin Frederick and released in 1981. Deceit found the band incorporating more influence from punk rock, and consolidating the world music influences in their work. Although at the time, like all of This Heat's releases, it sold poorly, Deceit is now seen as a classic of the post-punk era.
This Heat split up in 1982 after completing their final European tour with bassist-vocalist Trefor Goronwy and keyboardist Ian Hill joining Bullen and Hayward, as Williams had departed for India. Hayward went on to form Camberwell Now with Goronwy and Stephen Rickard, and remains musically active. Bullen had a solo venture called Lifetones, and released one record, For a Reason, in 1983 on his Tone of Life imprint and in 1998 released the album Internal Clock under the name Circadian Rhythms. Williams later formed Flaming Tunes with Mary Currie and released a cassette of material, which was later released on CD.
In 1993 a new album of previously unreleased This Heat recordings was unearthed. Repeat featured three long tracks, including the title track, a 20-minute remix of "24 Track Loop". Out of Cold Storage, a box set of all the band's official recordings, was released in June 2006 on This is!, a new Recommended Records sub-label set up by Hayward and Bullen to re-release This Heat's back catalogue. The set comprises This Heat, Deceit, Health and Efficiency, Made Available and Repeat, plus Live 80/81, a CD of concert recordings.
In December 2001 This Heat tentatively rehearsed (with Williams); however, nothing came to fruition as Williams died later that month of cancer.
In 2016, Bullen and Hayward reunited under the name This is Not This Heat to perform a number of critically acclaimed gigs in London. The gigs featured several guests such as Thurston Moore, Alexis Taylor and Daniel O'Sullivan.
This Heat's music has had a huge influence on generations of musicians in the decades following their break-up. Hot Chip included the song "Radio Prague" on their DJ-Kicks: Hot Chip album with Alexis Taylor commenting that the band "were truly committed to experimentation in the studio, and making a highly-charged music of great originality and dynamics." Dan Snaith of Caribou fame noted that the band "sounded like the future then and still do now." Avey Tare of Animal Collective revealed that This Heat "are one of those bands that (as a person wanting to be in a band) I aspired to be like". Damon McMahon of Amen Dunes called them "the Beatles of modern experimental music". Both Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Oneida covered the track "S.P.Q.R.". Robert Del Naja, one of the founding members of Massive Attack, covered "24 Track Loop". K K Null covered the tracks "Repeat" and "Horizontal Hold". Odd Nosdam remixed "Health And Efficiency" along with "Radio Prague". Subtle remixed "A New Kind Of Water". Danny Brown sampled "Horizontal Hold" on the track "Adderall Admiral" off the album XXX. The band were mentioned in LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge". Viet Cong cited the band as a huge influence with bassist/vocalist Matt Flegel claiming in an interview that he was trying to "ape" Deceit.
Numerous critics recognized the band's influence on the music of Sonic Youth, Glenn Branca, Public Image Ltd., Radiohead, Swans, Shellac, Black Dice, Lightning Bolt and numerous other experimental and post rock bands.
- Health and Efficiency (1980)
- The Peel Sessions (1988)
- This Heat Live (1986; cassette-only release of 1980 Krefeld concert)
- Scala (2006; bootleg 1979 London concert)
- Final Revelations (2007; final 1982 concert plus demos for new never-completed album)
- Live at I.C.A. Club 1980 (2007; bootleg of concert at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts)
- Made Available: John Peel Sessions (1996; reissue of The Peel Sessions with bonus tracks)
- Out of Cold Storage (2006; 6-CD box set)
- This Heat with Mario Boyer Diekuuroh (1982; split cassette with Albert Marcoeur)
- Repeat (1993)
- John Peel Shows (2005; bootleg of 1977 preview of first album demos)
- Face Hand Shy: Rarities (2006; above Peel demos plus "Health & Efficiency", Mario Boyer Diekuuroh tracks and undated live tracks)
- "This Heat and Camberwell Now". www.furious.com. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
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- "Features | Anniversary | The Final Warning: Three Decades After This Heat's Deceit". The Quietus. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
- "This Heat: This Heat/Health and Efficiency/Deceit | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2016-02-04.