Test Dept:Redux

The Unacceptable Face of Freedom.Mk2

Test Dept: Redux is conceived as a club based EBM (Electronic Body Music) intense music & visual performance experience.

Titled 'UFoF:v2' the performance is a live re-mix and re-imagining by the two founder members of Test Dept - Paul Jamrozy and Graham Cunnington – the tracks performed are taken from Test Dept's own sound and visual archive from their classic agitprop 1986 album ‘The Unacceptable Face of Freedom’* and earlier material.

Originally UFoF was an expression of the rage and frustration felt by a large section of society towards the brutal policies and consequences of the UK's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1979>1990), which has now, once again, gained a powerful relevance to our current circumstances within the wider globalised economic and militaristic order in these recession hit times.

The performance reworks political themes for the new millennium and bringing up to date the methods and techniques that made Test Dept pioneers of a highly original and radical approach to music creation and found sound collage.

TD:R create a dense, powerful, vibrant soundtrack for our time, utilising sound and image samples from the extensive Test Dept back-catalogue; enhanced with new sounds, audio-visual documentation, and the duo's live vocals and percussion. Their channelling of the personal anger and frustration they still experience remains as potent and caustic as before.

Following the melt down of the West's banking infrastructure, and the revelation of the consequences of corporate greed and free-market 'shock therapy' tactics, it is an apt time to revisit the radicalism of Test Dept's dystopian vision of the future as laid out in the seminal album, The Unacceptable Face of Freedom.

* "The Unacceptable Face of Freedom", was the pejorative term used by Thatcher's Home Secretary Leon Britton during the 1984/5 miner's strike. The right of people to protect their jobs and futures was seen as a liberty too far by the right wing political establishment of the time.


Test Department - A short history

Test Dept was an industrial music group from London, one of the most important and influential early industrial music acts. Their approach was marked by a strong commitment to radical socialist politics.

The group formed in the London suburb of New Cross in 1981. The core members of the group were Angus Farquhar, Graham Cunnington, Paul Jamrozy, Paul Hines and Toby Burdon. Other members who played with the group at various times included Alistair Adams, Neil Starr, John Eacott, Tony Cudlip, David Coulter, Gus Ferguson and Martin King. Comedian Vic Reeves also played bass in an early incarnation of the band. The slides and film for their multi-media events were the work of their visual director Brett Turnbull.

Their discography spans a wide variety of influences and styles, including a collaboration with the South Wales Striking Miners Choir in support of the miners' strike of 1984. They were particularly notable for complex and powerful percussion, as well as high-energy live performances. 

Like the German band Einstürzende Neubauten, with whom they are often compared, Test Dept used unconventional instruments such as scrap metal and industrial machinery as sound sources; however, Test Dept's use of these objects was far more rhythmic than was Neubauten's, and was often accompanied by film and slide shows. The group was noted for large-scale events in unusual site-specific locations, such as Waterloo station, Cannon Street station, Stirling Castle and the disused St Rollox Railway Works in Glasgow.

The last Test Department live performance goes back to 1998 (UK, London) and their last Belgium concert  was already in 1994.

So we are utterly proud to have these Industrial legends playing our BIMFEST 2012 with their TEST DEPT:REDUX project!