gullbuy music review

This Heat with Mario Boyer Diekuuroh


Tago Mago


Canterbury Dream


The recorded history of This Heat begins around 1976 and ends around 1981. I was always under the Impression that only 3 records were ever recorded, and a Peel Sessions live/in studio thing.

I was wrong. There's appearantly some live releases, and this (originally) French cassette only release of a collaboration with Ghanian drummer, Mario Diekuuroh.

This Heat were Charles Hayward: voice, drums, tapes, etc., Charles Bullen - guitar, clarinet, voice, tapes, etc, and Gareth Williams keyboards, guitar, voice, tapes, etc.

This particular outing features recordings with Ghanian percussionist/flutist, Mario Diekuuroh who also collaborated later with Hayward, Chris Cutler (Henry Cow, Art Bears, Fred Frith, etc., etc., etc.) and many others in 1997.

Their sound defined (early in the game) what you got when you threw John Cage bubblegum into the early seventies Canterbury (see Soft Machine, Gong, Caravan, etc.) jazz/rock blender. This Heat were the Caterbury scene's not-so-nice, disgruntled cousing--influential and at times, sublime in their abrasive, discordant frenetic punk energy.

As for this recording, it's part live, part studio, mostly instrumental. I expected a lot of improv noodling but none of the performances waste any time--even the more spaced out, improvisational-sounding stay interesting and engaged.

The first two peices with their raw, almost bootleg-ish sound have an early movie soundtrack-like feel with sudden dramatic shifts in theme. If you hated prg-rock and embraced punk, you might still like this. If you liked both, you'll probably love this.

I was afraid this CD would merely be a completist's trophy, but, sound quality aside, there are some for outstanding performances here and the studio tracks, while not very well recorded, more than make up for what they lack in fidelity.

Brian Cleary, October 23, 2001