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CHARLES HAYWARD

RIO/Avant-Prog • United Kingdom


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Charles Hayward biography
Charles John Hayward - Born in 1951

Charles HAYWARD, best known as the founder and drummer of experimental rock group THIS HEAT, also has an eponymous solo project where he plays similar music. The music is a mix of melodic rock melodies with experimental rock twists to make an interesting and accessible brand of experimental rock. As a solo artist, HAYWARD has steadily released studio albums since the late 80s, with 15 studio records since 1987 as of 2011. HAYWARD'S career has spanned nearly four decades, beginning in 1976 with the inception of THIS HEAT. The band was highly experimental and did well in experimental rock circles. THIS HEAT was active until the early 80s when they broke up. HAYWARD was also a member of Canterbury Scene band QUIET SUN during the 70s as well, as well as a number of other projects. He has stayed active as a session musician and a studio artist throughout his career.

::::Andy Webb, Andyman1125::::

See also:
- CLEAR FRAME

- HERE

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Buy CHARLES HAYWARD Music


Chaos in ExpansionChaos in Expansion
Sub Rosa
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Tribute to Mark Rothko by Charles HaywardTribute to Mark Rothko by Charles Hayward
Rer
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CHARLES HAYWARD discography


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CHARLES HAYWARD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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Survive The Gesture
1987
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Charles Hayward / Gigi Masin: Les Nouvelles Musiques De Chambre Vol. 2
1988
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Skew-Whiff - A Tribute To Mark Rothko
1990
4.00 | 1 ratings
Charles Hayward & Nick Doyne-Ditmas: My Secret Alphabet
1993
3.00 | 1 ratings
Percy Howard, Charles Hayward, Fred Frith & Bill Laswell: Meridiem
1998
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Abracadabra Information
2004
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Charles Hayward, John Coxon, Pat Thomas, Alexis Taylor: About
2009
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GOL & Charles Hayward
2010

CHARLES HAYWARD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Switch On War
1991
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Jouer. Spielen. To Play
1994
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Near+Far Live In Japan Volume Three
1997
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Escape From Europe Live In Japan Volume One
1997
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Sub Rosa Sessions (Charles Hayward/Nús/David Shea)
1997
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Double Agent(s) Live In Japan Volume Two
1998
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Mathilde 253
2011

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CHARLES HAYWARD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Charles Hayward & Nick Doyne-Ditmas: My Secret Alphabet by HAYWARD, CHARLES album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Charles Hayward & Nick Doyne-Ditmas: My Secret Alphabet
Charles Hayward RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewian

— First review of this album —
4 stars "My Secret Alphabet" is a remarkable and unique album. One thing that is special about it is the overall structure, which develops from fairly straightforward songs with conventional drum rhythms over a very calm middle part with no drums at all to two longer and very experimental, probably improvised or improvisation-based tracks.

The first song, "Hilly Fields", is the most conventional song. It is a rather optimistic sounding song featuring Hayward as a drummer and colourful guitar and keyboards. Unfortunately the mix is not optimal and Doyne-Ditmas's bass is weaker than it should be (same in the next song). "Unearthing fossil fuels" is slower and somewhat less conventional with quite interesting keyboard sounds that flow around the melody, partly sound experiment and partly harmonic support, although it has a very memorable chorus. The bass part is good but again a bit too far in the background. The song ends in chaos mode but this finishes quickly for now. "November Building" has the best drums on the album, combined with a strong trombone, more crazy keyboard nuggets, more good but too muted bass and another memorable motif. All these are mainly sung by Hayward's unique deep calm pastoral voice, always a tiny bit slower than you'd expect.

With "Slow Air" the album enters a new phase. The drums are now over and things become slow. The track has vocals and a melody but relies on long spacey keyboard spheres and sound experiments. "Seventy Two, Trade White" goes on in a similar vein with slow keyboards, but the vocals are now gone. Hayward contributes some bell-like percussion, and overall it's still kind of harmonic despite the sound experiments. "Rumour is Mobile" is an instrumental based on a calm chord sequence of the acoustic guitar, over which we again have layers of sound exploration by keyboard and percussion. We're still mostly in harmonic territory. "Slim Pickens" is a short piece that stirs things up a bit. It has some rhythmic vocals, but these are hardly connected with the sprawling breathing background of sounds. "My Secret Alphabet" uses the same guitar sequence from "Rumour is Mobile", now with contemplative and sensitive singing; in the background there's again a jungle of sounds and some electronic rhythm. The last "song".

Finally the album goes into full avantgarde mode with two long mostly free pieces. "Thick Skin Paper Thin" has again some not exactly soothing vocals somewhere in between but by and large it is made of long slowly changing atmospheric sounds, something like a miniature (and somewhat less predictable) version of Tangerine Dream's "Zeit". "Outcomelt" has a monotonous timpani rhythm behind which there is a pulsating jungle from electronics, percussions, trombone and samples (I'd think there are some animal voices there), ending in a very last peaceful chord (sorry for the spoiler).

For somebody like me who likes this kind of atmospheric sound alchemy this is big fun. I also love Hayward's drums and voice, and I admire the fact that such an experimental avantgarde album can at the same time offer some harmony and the odd catchy tune. The way how the album lets the conventional beginning degenerate totally toward the end is very fascinating. Despite all the craziness the album is mostly tonal and not the very toughest of listening experiences. The whole thing is full of ideas and surprises. I think that the title "My Secret Alphabet" points to the fact that this is something of a systematic exploration of the range of things Hayward has in his pocket. I give it 4 stars but it scratches at the 5.

 Percy Howard, Charles Hayward, Fred Frith & Bill Laswell: Meridiem by HAYWARD, CHARLES album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Percy Howard, Charles Hayward, Fred Frith & Bill Laswell: Meridiem
Charles Hayward RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewian

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is listed under Charles Hayward, but "Meridiem" seems to be the band name, comprising Charles Hayward (drums, percussion & electronic sounds), Percy Howard (vocals), Fred Frith (guitar, violin, electronics) and Bill Laswell (bass). Most of this sounds like 100% improvised music (and therefore 100% democratic), only some tracks have some structure that was likely arranged in advance (Mingle, Iurodivii). The names of the band members raise high expectations, and the instrumental performances are fine (mostly on the experimental side of things), but most tracks have a certain "going nowhere"-feel to it. It's probably too free for my taste, with guitar and bass often too little coordinated with the drums, so that in many places the musicians seem to diverge (although they are fairly well together in terms of intensity). Percy Howard has a soulful quite emotional voice and although he mostly sings proper lyrics, he tries to get very varied sounds out of his voice, he uses it like an instrument. For my taste he howls too much and I have some difficulties with his voice, but I have no "objective" criticism of it, it's probably a good performance and others may like it. Charles Hayward is a great drummer and gives the music some steady rhythm in most tracks. Here he is surprisingly close to some of Jaki Liebezeit's performances; drums and bass in "Interference" evoke Can's "Halleluwah", and the drums in "Votive Rhythm" are almost identical to Jaki's in "Hoolah Hoolah" on Rite Time. Fred Frith does many things here, some melodic, some noisy (his favourite mode), some good but some pointless, at least to my unprofessional ears. Bill Laswell uses a strong smooth bass sound and plays quite jazzy and free; some more rock-like teamwork with Hayward would have given the music a stronger spine, which would have helped matters in my opinion.

I don't think this is a bad album; it has a fairly idiosyncratic mix of a rather free jazz attitude combined with a somewhat darker subtle atmosphere. As a whole, it is not monotone (although some tracks seem to go in circles); there are very different approaches to some tracks, in particular the more composed more melodic and calmer "Iurodivii" (my favourite in this album), Votive Rhythm with its more electronic/industrial feel, and "The 7th" which is more dominated than others by Frith's searing guitar. I could have done with more composition, structure and coordination though.

 Switch On War by HAYWARD, CHARLES album cover Live, 1991
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Switch On War
Charles Hayward RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewian

— First review of this album —
3 stars Nobody has even rated a Charles Hayward album until now so this is obviously not the most mainstream person in prog, but he is certainly interesting. However, Switch on War will not appeal to the faint-hearted. I'd characterise the music as avantgarde industrial. Although Hayward is a drummer (actually a quite good one; ex This Heat and Camberwell Now and probably a key figure in both of these bands), there is not much drumming on this album, and actually not much rhythm, let alone melodies and harmonies. What I just wrote can be disputed according to your definition of rhythm, because there are rhythmic things, sounds and noises of some sort happening over about 2/3 of the time. I promise, though, that there is not a single melody to be found. Toward the end of "Pinpoint" and "Sweetheart" there is some drumming, but it's rather an addition to the palette of noises than rhythm. Most of the album is instrumental, there is no singing but a small amount of spoken word and some shouting. Drone-like distorted keyboard sound are often used, as well as some industrial noises. Many parts are quite monotone but all five tracks have a clear development and become more intense toward the end. Some bits are fairly shrill; I can listen to most of this easily and can tell you that there are things around in avantgarde contemporary music that are assaults on your ears that are much harder to endure, but I am aware that probably a majority of people will find this music already rather painful (and may wonder why on earth anybody would call it "music"). The album sounds and feels rather rough, dirty and unpolished. This is intended; Hayward's avantgarde is not of the calm or academic kind. His music is about emotions connected to the TV coverage of the first gulf war (see www.forcedexposure.com for Hayward commenting on the idea behind this); it expresses a mixture of anger and sadness and a probably to the frustration of Mr Hayward not fully successful attempt to make sense of it all. Although he writes: "this CD had the life expectancy of a magazine article or some such, no more than a year and it would be archive, a mere souvenir", I think that it expresses something authentic to which some people (including myself) in some situations can connect very well, and therefore I think it is a valuable experience if you're up for this kind of thing.

Overall I like this a lot, it is a strong musical document of certain raw and somewhat ugly emotions and thoughts for people who don't need music to fulfil certain musical conventions and expectations. The musical substance is somewhat limited though and given that this is not for most PA readers, I leave the rating at a good 3.

Thanks to saltyjon for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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