Peter Webb (PC-Press), Brett Turnbull, Paul Jamrozy, Graham Cunnington, Alexei Monroe (editor), Luke Turner (The Quietus)
Test Department are without question one of the most important industrial music ‘bands’ of all time, drawing on art, culture, film and performance alongside and as part of, their political and musical statements.
Founding members spoke at length to Luke Turner from The Quietus about their experiences, their journey and their political raison d’etre, to mark the publication of Total State Machine. Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner showcased his beautifully crafted tribute to their work accompanied by some of the visual documents of key moments in the Test Dept story.
They were asked about everything from the work they did with the mining communities during the strike of the 1980s, to what prompted them to locate and publish their Stasi files for posterity.
Scanner (Robin Rimbaud)
Test Dept’s narrative is one of connecting communities and standing up for social justice. The uncompromising sound of some of their work was a mirror in the face of the state machinery that threatened the communities they were defending with their art.
The ‘Total State Machine’ book and the film DS30 which has been touring this year, serve as an important document to the heroic struggle of not only the miners, but of Test Dept. a group of people of conscience and compassion.
Test Dept Q & A - pic Terry Tyldesley
- Total State Machine is published by PC-Press in hardback and paperback, and is available from them, as well as at Rough Trade. The book is a historical document and visual representation of Test Dept. Printed on over 400 pages of high quality art paper, the book contains reflections and essays from founder members Jamrozy, Cunnington and Farquhar, plus Stephen Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire), Robin Rimbaud (Scanner), Ivan Novak (Laibach), Alan Sutcliffe (Kent Miners) and a host of others.
Total State Machine, Test Dept