How did a group of disaffected young people come to pose a serious threat to the symbolic order of the Thatcherite state?
Test Dept were on the front line of struggles which are still playing out in the present day; raising questions, galvanising resistance and unnerving the titanic forces unleashed by the Thatcherite doctrine that still dominates the political mainstream. Their music was a full-frontal assault on the senses that also contained moments of reflection, beauty and echoes of post-industrial decay.
Until now the full history of British music, culture and politics in the 1980s and 1990s had not been told – a chapter has been missing. Total State Machine is this missing chapter. More than just a history of a group, it captures a wider history of those troubled times.
‘Total State Machine’ is published by PC-Press and is a unique historical document and visual representation of Test Dept, one of the UK’s truly investigative agitators, authentic industrialists, utilisers and recyclers of society’s debris.
Printed on high quality art paper, the book contains chapters and reflections from Paul Jamrozy, Graham Cunnington, Angus Farquhar, Stephen Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire), Robin Rimbaud (Scanner), Marek Kohn, Malcolm Pointer, Ivan Novak (Laibach), Alan Sutcliffe (Kent Miners) and many more with an introduction by Alexei Monroe and Peter Webb. The book also contains original artwork, photography and documentary images of the group from all periods of their work.
Each chapter details the different periods of their work and has reflections and essays from the group and a host of contributors who were involved or affected in some way by the work of Test Dept.