Performance CreditsThis Heat Primary Artist
Charles Bullen Clarinet
Technical CreditsThis Heat Composer,Audio Production
Malcolm Brown Audio Production
Anthony More Audio Production
Tony Wilson Audio Production
David Cunningham Audio Production
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Like many of the more astute post-punk bands, This Heat had scant musical connection to punk. Punk espoused a seditious D.I.Y. ethos, but the sonic results were largely conventional, even retrograde. This Heat were genuinely revolutionary. They experimented with the possibilities of rock, infusing it with dissidence on a formal level, whereas punk's radicalism often extended only to sloganeering lyrics. Ironically, much of This Heat's innovative strength derived from a musical heritage that punk's most ignorant element would have purged as supposedly reactionary -- a fertile tradition of '70s art-rock comprising the likes of King Crimson, the Soft Machine, Henry Cow, Neu!, Can, and Faust. (Drummer Charles Hayward was part of that tradition, having played in Quiet Sun.) All This Heat's releases are collected here, plus a live CD and an image- and text-rich booklet that traces the band's history, providing insight into their creative processes. The Health and Efficiency and Repeat EPs and Made Available (the group's John Peel sessions) highlight This Heat's uniqueness during the already vibrant and diverse post-punk period; however, the band's two albums remain the most complete and compelling illustrations of an aesthetic that approached the studio environment as an instrument, fusing jazz and avant-garde sensibilities, folk and ethnic nuances, electronics and rock. From slightly different angles, these albums capture the unsettling, dread-filled zeitgeist of the early Thatcher-Reagan era. The self-titled debut comprised a series of dark, complex collages, juxtaposing manipulated textures, musique concrète and angular rhythms, occasionally coalescing into a semblance of rock. Hewn from similar materials, Deceit bordered on more conventional song structures, without compromising the band's experimental spirit. Unfortunately, this box set includes no unreleased studio work, which must be lurking in the archives; such material would have been more appealing than the live disc. Minor quibbles aside, Out of Cold Storage is a worthwhile testament to a band that, despite its post-punk context, was already post-rock.
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