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Total State Machine published by PC-Press is a unique historical document and visual representation of Test Dept, one of the UK’s truly investigative agitators, authentic industrialists, utilisers and recyclers of society’s debris.
The book also contains original artwork, photography and documentary images of the group from all periods of their work.
Total State Machine – Hardback
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.
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‘Total State Machine’ is published by PC-Press and is a unique historical document and visual representation of Test Dept, one of the UK’s truly investigative agitators, authentic industrialists, utilisers and recyclers of society’s debris.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.
The Hardback copy of the book is limited to 250 copies and comes with a set of extra items.
These will be one Poster: An original Test Dept reprint archive poster. A DVD of archive Test Dept film and video. A live recording produced on CD with unique cover art.
These items will only be available with this edition of the book.
||28.6 × 23.2 × 3.5 cm
Test Dept; the authentic industrialists, sonic material handlers, utilisers and recyclers of society’s debris have re-emerged to engage with the current cultural and political climate, exploring new ways of expression in a strategic programme of actions and releases.
`Tested Product’ is the first in a series of re-releases in new and adapted artworks through recently formed `DIY’ Independent company PC-Press. This 12” for Record Store Day combines tracks from their first, now deleted, `Compulsion’ single (1983) and mixes’ from their second single ‘The Faces of Freedom’ (1986). The tracks `Compulsion’ and `Pulsations’ were recorded in Metropolitan Wharf, Wapping by Paul Hardiman (noted for his work with Lloyd Cole and The The) on a mobile studio. That Wharf, now a block of luxury flats, is a symbol of Test Dept’s disgust for the transformation of parts of London into a rich elite’s playground since first recording during the recession presided over by Thatcher’s government of the early 1980s. `Compulsion’ produced by Flood and Trigger and `Pulsations’ produced by Richard Kirk and Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire are fine examples of the mash-up of Industrial sounds and emerging dance music. European synths and Detroit house rhythms mixed with some of the heaviest industrial metal sounds ever recorded make these tracks timeless and key examples of the groundbreaking music that Test Dept unleashed.
On Face Of Freedom 2 and 3 the voice of Leon Brittan makes an appearance, sampled to show the evasion, attempted manipulation and hypocrisy of politicians in the media spotlight. The music highlights the post-punk/funk sensibility of the group and the sound of a classical industrial aural collage that would later become the hallmark of many experimental and mainstream groups. Brittan was also pictured on the cover, and now on the label of this release, with worms coming out of his mouth…. The `can of worms’ has recently been opened again and makes the contemporary stories around Brittan of continued interest with Test Dept displaying foresight and a keen sense of provocation in their work, highlighting disingenuous behavior within the political establishment.
This is the first in a series of audio releases partnered by a book `Total State Machine’ to be published in May 2015 by PC-Press – www.pc-press.co.uk
Test Dept return for an AV performance marking the 30th anniversary of the Miners Strike.
Test Dept bring the drama and noise of the monumental Dunston Staiths back to life in a vital sonic, cinematic and lighting intervention. Viewed from boats on the River Tyne over three nights, the event marks the 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike.
Seminal industrial music group Test Dept returns with their debut event since they disbanded in 1997. This large-scale outdoor event takes place at the dramatic Dunston Staiths, reputed to be Europe’s largest wooden structure, which was built on the River Tyne in 1893 to ship coal from the local Durham coalfields to the world.
Correction to previous advertised dates. The event takes place over the three nights of Thu 27 March – Sat 29 March 2014. Three slots are available each evening at 6.45pm, 8.15pm and 9.45pm.
For more information visit the programme page here
Saturday 8th March, 30th Anniversary of the Miners Strike Conference
Test Dept and Pete Webb of PC-Press will be talking about the New Test Dept book, their work with the South Wales Miners Choir, support for the strike and music and politicalstruggle at the 20th Anniversary of the Miners Strike event at Rich Mix Cinema, London on Saturday 8th March.
RIchMix is at CINEMA AND ARTS CENTRE, 35 – 47 BETHNAL GREEN ROAD, SHOREDITCH / BETHNAL GREEN. Nearest tube – Shoreditch High Street.
This is event is part of the build up to the release of the film about the strike called “Still the Enemy Within” made by production company Bad Bonobo in collaboration with Journalist Mike Simons, see here – http://the-enemy-within.org.uk. PC-Press is proud to support the film and work with the Bad Bonobo team on the Conference.