This Heat

  • This Heat
  • This Heat (UK Piano) 1979  (UK Recommended) 1983 
  • Deceit (UK Rough Trade) 1981  (UK These) 1988 
  • This Heat with Mario Boyer Diekuuroh [tape] (Fr. Tago Mago) 1982 
  • The Peel Sessions EP (UK Strange Fruit) 1988 

In 1976, Charles Hayward of Gong (and Phil Manzanera’s Quiet Sun) joined with Charles Bullen and Gareth Williams to form This Heat. Though arising from art-rock and the British school of fusion jazz, This Heat quickly developed into an experimental band largely dependent on tape loops and production tricks.

This Heat covers two years of the band’s history, with both live and studio cuts. They use guitar, clarinet, drums and keyboards, permuted with loops, phasing and overdubs, breaking down patterns into only faintly connected musical moments that include artificial skips and looped end-grooves. Though insolent and withdrawn, the music is adventurous and, in its own peculiar way, engrossing. The punnily titled Deceit is more coherent and raucous, yet avoids the dismal drones and cacophony of other “experimental” groups. Free of clichés, the music blends politics and intelligence, steering clear of artifice and trendiness. Austere, brilliant and indescribable.

This Heat with Mario Boyer Diekuuroh, which compiles tapes from 1977/8, features studio sessions with the Ghanian drummer who greatly influenced their perceptions of rhythm.

Renamed Camberwell Now, the group has continued to release albums on the Swiss Recommended label; in the late ’80s, Hayward issued a solo album.

[Steven Grant]