This Heat – Makeshift Swahili (1981)

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Deceit is the second studio album by English experimental rock band This Heat. It was released in 1981 through record label Rough Trade. In a 1991 interview, Charles Hayward explained that the threat of nuclear warfare motivated the band and provided the album with an underlying theme: “The whole speak, ‘Little Boy’, ‘Big Boy’, calling missiles cute little names. The whole period was mad! We had a firm belief that we were going to die and the record was made on those terms.… The whole thing was designed to express this sort of fear, angst, which the group was all about, really.” The album’s subject matter also deals with war and imperialism. The cover art reflects these concerns, and includes a photomontage of images such as mushroom clouds, thematic maps depicting nuclear arsenals and photographs of Ronald Reagan, Leonid Brezhnev and Nikita Khrushchev. As with other This Heat recordings, much of the album was recorded at Cold Storage, a disused refrigerated storeroom at a former meat pie factory in Acre Lane, Brixton, England. The music included new improvisations along with songs the band had been playing during live performances (portions of these songs were culled from actual concert recordings). As Hayward describes, “some of the album was really plush sounding, some dim and pokey. Sometimes it would sound like the machinery was breaking up. We deliberately would make it sound as though the record player was exploding.”


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