Long awaited reissue of Health and Efficiency (1980) - the loosely driven, uplifting and abstract follow-up to This Heat’s seminal debut album, and a total classic in its own right. Where their self-titled first album took two years to make, Health and Efficiency was recorded in a fraction of that time, using a mobile 16-track recording studio spied in the backpage ads of Melody Maker to lay down an eight minute improvisation that would become the titular A-side, whilst teasing out a drone from 24 Track Loop into eleven minutes of quivering, varispeed-pitched tones on the other side. The title tune condenses the angular precision of their debut LP to prove they’re super adroit in the live situation, twysting from heady krautrock to taut breakbeats via a battery of Charles Hayward’s locked-on drums and glass bottles with vocals split between Gareth Williams and field recordings of the schoolyard next door.
The album took the trio -- Charles Bullen, Charles Hayward and Gareth Williams -- two years to create, and placed them at the forefront of experimental music. The follow-up, the 20-minute Health and Efficiency, proved to be a less labored -- and more conventional -- record to make. Bridging the gap between the debut and their masterpiece, Deceit, the 1980 release found the band settling into a groove at their studio, Cold Storage. The eight-minute title track, remembers Charles Hayward, 'was improvised pretty much fully-formed,' and included the sound of the neighboring school's playground and the band rolling bottles around in the gallery space next to their studio. That's where they found the maxi-single's sleeve too -- Pete Cobb's blue and white image was on display in the same gallery. As Charles Hayward notes: 'Everything seemed to fall into place.' On the B-side, the drone for 'Graphic/Varispeed' came from the song '24 Track Loop' on the first album, albeit manipulated, slowed down and sped up. 'In the process, we realized that we liked the morphing of the sound from one state to another as the vari-speed combed the sound across the equalization, like a microscope. So we recorded the process itself, which is what you hear here,' says Hayward. The intention was for the single to be able to be played at 33, 45 or 78 RPM -- which you're welcome to do with this reissue, too.