|Origin||Camberwell, London, England|
|1976-1982, 2016-2019 (as This Is Not This Heat)|
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).
The band was 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. Their commercial success was limited, but This Heat are 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'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.
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 coherent song structures, 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 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:
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.