TEST DEPT – ‘Total State Machine’
book launch &
‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ album re-release
Featuring Scanner Live – 2015
Scanner will do a live re-work/mix of classic Test Dept tracks
Rough Trade East, Thursday 16 July, 7 – 9pm
*Book street date back to August 10th…
**Back catalogue box sets due late October…
Test Dept: the authentic industrialists, sonic material handlers, utilisers and recyclers of society’s debris re-emerge to engage with the current cultural and political climate, exploring new ways of expression in a strategic programme of actions and releases.
Continuing in a series of events spread over an extended period of unleashing, Test Dept‘s book ‘Total State Machine’ – sees a special launch at Rough Trade East on July 16, featuring a Q & A with Test Dept members and Robin Rimbaud, led by Luke Turner of The Quietus, a Live remix performance by Scanner and a book and album signing.
To mark this occasion beyond the book itself, the band re-issue ‘Shoulder To Shoulder’ (1985), the second in a series of re-releases, partnering the book, published in June by PC-Press, the first being the 12” ‘Tested Product’ for Record Store Day, in new and adapted artworks, also through PC-Press. This special red vinyl edition paves the way for more back catalogue action late October 2015, namely both 6 x CD & 6 x vinyl box sets.
‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ encapsulates the tour organised by Test Dept in support of the Miners Strike in 1984/85 and features a choir of South Wales miners, brought together by the group for a one off concert in London. Such was the bond formed on that occasion; it led to a nationwide tour, a landmark meeting and lasting memory of music, solidarity and political struggle. As such it can be viewed as an important historical document.
‘Fuel to Fight’ from ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ – “the sound of Test Dept’s raw percussive brilliance accompanied by the trumpets of Albania’s Radio Tirana” – is available to stream here:
TEST DEPT – ‘Total State Machine’
‘The Miners Strike, the Wapping Dispute, the Poll Tax, Touring behind the Iron Curtain and the East German Stasi police files, music and theatrical DIY shows on the scale of Danny Boyle’s Olympics opening ceremony, police raids, Tony Benn and re-invigorating the Beltane Festival all part of the story in ‘Total State Machine’ the definitive book about British musical pioneers Test Dept.’
“Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer to shape it” Bertolt Brecht
‘Total State Machine’ – street date August 10th – 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 Test Dept founding members Paul Jamrozy, Graham Cunnington, Angus Farquhar and Brett Turnbull; Stephen Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire); Robin Rimbaud (Scanner); Marek Kohn; Malcolm Poynter; Ivan Novak (Laibach); Alan Sutcliffe (Kent Miner) 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.
PC-Press is a DIY publisher of Sound, Ideas and the Visual. They publish books in many forms and maintain the importance and centrality of the book in the era of computer mediated communication.