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Label & Cat.Number: Modern Classics Recordings MCR916
Release Year: 2016
Note: luxus re-issue of the first LP from 1979, a true classic of TRUE Avantgarde-'rock' of that time..."Was diese so Band so ausnehmend macht und selbst unter heutigen Maßstäben so ungemindert bestechend, ist in meinen Ohren der Thrill zwischen schwebenden Momenten, in denen die Musik die Luft anzuhalten oder garottiert zu werden scheint und sich enorme Energie aufstaut, und den unglaublich intensiven Eruptionen in Gestalt des ostinaten Drummings und sich ins Gehirn fressender Loops." [Bad Alchemy]
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €26.50
More Info"Second pressing of vinyl re-issue. First official vinyl re-issue in collaboration with original band members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward. 24 bit/96 kHz re-master from original analog tapes. Includes booklet with track notes and archival photos. Isn't it so often the case that the most innovative works of art -- the ones that break the ground where others follow -- are the ones that seem to reach only the ears of those who take those ideas and run with them? So it is with This Heat and their eponymous debut album frequently referred to as 'blue and yellow' for its ultra-minimal jacket. Within its 48 minute run time, the seeds of post-punk, avant rock, noise rock and post-rock can be found. Formed in Brixton, a multicultural, and -- at the time -- down-at-heel part of south London, This Heat were born into a music scene in rapid flux, first thanks to the punk explosion and then via new wave and its myriad offshoots into pop, rock and art-rock. But while many sought to apply punk attitude to chart-friendly sounds, This Heat were concocting some of the most experimental ideas ever committed to tape, taking influence from musique concrète, krautrock, the burgeoning industrial scene and even the dub reggae blasting out in their home borough. Their debut album had -- for the time and for the DIY scene -- an unusually long gestation, recorded in sessions between February 1976 and September 1978 in a variety of studios including their own Cold Storage, a converted cold storage room in the Acme Studios complex. Innovating throughout, they combined loops and tape manipulation with live performance and haunting vocals to a complex, dissonant whole. The band recorded everything they ever did -- including gigs -- and tracks such as 'Water' were entirely improvised in the studio. Given the difficult, abrasive, and involved nature of their sound, This Heat never found anything approaching mainstream success, but patronage by the influential Radio 1 DJ John Peel meant they reached a national audience -- whether that audience was ready for them or not. Celebrating This Heat's 40th anniversary in 2016, Modern Classics Recordings will re-issue the band's catalog -- 1979's This Heat, 1980's Health and Efficiency, and 1981's Deceit -- with full co-operation of surviving members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward. Four decades on, the tireless efforts of This Heat's process can once again be a revelation for new audiences." [label info]
„Was diese so Band so ausnehmend macht und selbst unter heutigen Maßstäben so ungemindert bestechend, ist in meinen Ohren der Thrill zwischen schwebenden Momenten, in denen die Musik die Luft anzuhalten oder garottiert zu werden scheint und sich enorme Energie aufstaut, und den unglaublich intensiven Eruptionen in Gestalt des ostinaten Drummings und sich ins Gehirn fressender Loops. Dazu kommt dann noch an besonders sublimen Momenten HAYWARDs Gesang mit einem Timbre, das einem die Kehle zuschnürt durch den wehen Ton und mit heißkalter Dringlichkeit die Schädeldecke aufstemmt....“ [Bad Alchemy #51]
“A landmark recording by one of most important British bands, full stop. this, their first release, tore up the book and laid new rules for band composition and performance. First, the music: without precedent, then, the musicians: all extraordinary, all uncompromisingly radical, then the way it was all put together: endlessly surprising, hammeringly intense, and the sound: hard, radical, crafted, rich, with complete control of the frequency range. Beautifully recorded, radically mixed, this was breathtakingly present. Stripped back to the bone but never simplified. And it hasn't aged. this is deep, complex work that creates its own world, anticipating much that was to follow in the next 15 years. A luminous release out of print (for almost a decade?). Re-mastered by the group for this re release.“ [label info]
"Earlier this year, a few months back, we made the 40th anniversary This Heat vinyl reissues our Records Of The Week. More like Records Of All Time, really. The two full-lengths (This Heat and Deceit) quickly sold out, and have been sadly absent from our racks for the past little while - but now they both have been repressed, and are available again at a slightly lower price than before (thanks to no longer being in gatefold jackets). If somehow you missed out before, we urge you to get 'em now! Our review of this one...
Oooh, at last nicely reissued on vinyl, automatic Records Of The Week!!! What more is there to say that we haven't already said (at length, below, you'll see) about these This Heat records?
Trying to explain why this record is so good is sort of like trying to explain why ice cream is so delicious.
Or maybe it's kind of like writing an introduction for the new Pynchon novel. Or telling a few jokes before Richard Pryor comes on stage. Or throwing a couple quick passes before Joe Montana comes on the field. It's that daunting, that overwhelming, that impossible.
The trio of Charles Hayward, Charles Bullen, and Gareth Williams known collectively as This Heat were one of the few bands that literally changed people's lives. Changed the way folks thought about music. I (Andee) couldn't believe music like this actually existed. It was everything I wanted to listen to before I knew that THIS was exactly what I wanted to listen to. Hit It Or Quit It publisher / rock critic / indie scenstress Jessica Hopper once wrote that she literally pee'd her pants the first time she heard This Heat. And it's not hard to see why. Without This Heat, modern, alternative, avant garde music as we know it would be a whole different beast. Post rock, math rock, avant rock are hugely indebted to the genre shattering experimentalism of This Heat. Tortoise, You Fantastic, Yona Kit, Brise Glace, Psychic Paramount, Laddio Bolocko, Radian, Village Of Savoonga, Larsen, Starfuckers, Circle, Salvatore, I Am Spoonbender - none of those bands would even exist if it weren't for This Heat, or if they still did you can bet they would sound a whole lot different. And that's just off the top of our heads, AND that's -just- bands whose sound directly reflects the influence of This Heat. Imagine how many performers and artists were influenced by This Heat but who let that influence manifest itself in not so obvious ways.
We once described This Heat as "Krautrock-ish hyper rhythmic tape-looped prog." Which comes close to succinctly describing the magical musical alchemy of This Heat, but still only scratches the surface. This is their self titled debut, originally released in 1979, which manages over the course of about 50 minutes to redefine almost all music that has come before.
The sound of This Heat is rhythm and texture and dynamics. The recording studio as instrument. Every sound and every song is based on rhythm and texture. There are hooks, and melodies, but they exist to serve the rhythm and are often born from the deft manipulation of sound and tempo. Even the most static and repetitive parts manage to sound -musical-. There are vocals, but they are minimal and otherworldly, weary and sing songy and completely mesmerizing. A droning musical accompaniment to the haunting whirs and clanging percussion in the background. This record is such a totally immersive and strangely lovely musical environment. From the machinelike Krautrock of "Horizontal Hold" to the dreamy contemplative "Twilight Furniture" with its simple chiming guitars, muted tribal percussion and keening vocals, to the bizarre affected drum workout of "24 Track Loop", it's like wandering through some alien musical world. As sky full of greys and blues, smeary drones floating gently by, haunting quavering vocals drifting below, like tendrils of smoke, the barren landscape littered with all manner of rhythmic outcroppings, harsh jagged crashes and booms, as well as low rolling thumps and stutters, off in the distance simple spare melodies float and hover, each note a glowing spot on the horizon. Absolutely and utterly overwhelmingly brilliant.
There are plenty of places on the web and in magazines to read more about the history of the band, the band members, the various releases and reissues (see elsewhere on the AQ website for reviews of past editions of various TH recordings) but none of that ultimately matters as much as the sound. And oh the glorious sound. Just take a listen to the sound samples and no words will be necessary." [Aquarius Records]
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