|Origin||Camberwell, London, England|
|Years active||1976–1982, 2016–2019 (as This Is Not This Heat)|
|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).
Originally active from 1976 until 1982, This Heat were active in the ascendancy of British punk rock and post-punk, but stood apart from those scenes due to an experimental, confrontational, and politically charged approach. This Heat's commercial success was limited, and their discography consisted of only two albums and an EP, but in later years the band have been widely considered a link between early 1970s music styles such as krautrock and later experimental genres such as industrial music and post-rock.
Williams died of cancer in 2001. From 2016 until 2019, Bullen and Hayward reunited, playing under the name This Is Not This Heat.
This Heat first came together in 1976 by Charles Hayward and Charles Bullen. Hayward was a member of the progressive rock band Quiet Sun, fronted by guitarist Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music. In 1975, Quiet Sun had signed a deal with Island Records to record an album entitled Mainstream. Whilst touring to support the record, Manzanera stepped down as his commitments with Roxy Music were taking up his time, so Bullen stepped in as a replacement. Quiet Sun dissolved shortly afterwards, but Bullen and Hayward, who had bonded over their similar tastes in music, decided to continue working together. After toying with the names Dolphin Logic and Friendly Rifles, they were joined by visual artist Gareth Williams, brought on due to his lack of musical training, and the trio settled upon This Heat in reference to the 1976 British Isles heat wave, regarded at the time as the hottest summer on record.
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, prior to moving into their 'Cold Storage' studio — a disused cold storage room converted into a studio, 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 characterised 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.
This Heat then signed a record deal with Rough Trade Records, who released Deceit, the band's second and final album, in 1981. Whilst maintaining their experimental approach, Deceit found the band incorporating more coherent song structures, and consolidating the dub and world music influences in their work. The album was produced with help from noted reggae mixer Martin Frederick. 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. By that time Deceit was released, Williams had since exited from the band.
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 concerts featured several guests such as Thurston Moore, Alexis Taylor and Daniel O'Sullivan. The reunion continued across the following three years, concluding with a small series of shows in London, New York, and Los Angeles in 2019.
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 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 have 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".
- The band were amongst the artists listed in LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge".
- Preoccupations, formerly known as 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 recognised the band's influence on the music of Sonic Youth, Glenn Branca, Steven Wilson, Public Image Ltd., Radiohead, Swans, Shellac, Young Knives, 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) *Recommended Records Sampler (1982 )
- 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)
- Kellman, Andy. "Deceit – This Heat : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Cutler, Chris (2006). Out of Cold Storage (booklet). Thornton Heath, England: Recommended Records.
- Baxter, Ed (7 February 2002). "Obituary: Gareth Williams | News | The Guardian". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "Hot Chip – DJ-Kicks (CD) at Discogs". discogs. 21 May 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "This Heat to Reissue Discography". Pitchfork. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- Hughes, Josiah (18 November 2015). "This Heat Reissue Albums Through Light in the Attic". Exclaim!. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "The Ex / Voodoo Muzak / Cheer-Accident / Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – Knormalities V.3 Posthumorites (Vinyl) at Discogs". discogs. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "News | LISTEN: Oneida Cover This Heat!". The Quietus. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Robert (3D) Del Naja* – Nocturne Sessions Disk 3 (CDr) at Discogs". discogs. 12 March 2002. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "KK Null* – Secret Thirteen Mix 076 (File, MP3) at Discogs". discogs. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Odd Nosdam – Egg Box 010 (File, MP3) at Discogs". discogs. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Subtle – The Subtle 6 Mix (CDr) at Discogs". discogs. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "News | LISTEN: Viet Cong Quietus Mix". The Quietus. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- Runco, Phil (9 July 2014). "BYT Interviews: Viet Cong". BYT // Brightest Young Things. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
- Philip Runco (9 July 2014). "BYT Interviews: Viet Cong – BrightestYoungThings – DC". BrightestYoungThings. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- Biography by Fred Thomas. "This Heat | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Features | The Final Warning: Three Decades After This Heat's Deceit". The Quietus. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "This Heat: This Heat/Health and Efficiency/Deceit | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016.