POSTPONEDFriday 29 October
Pioneering British industrial group merging percussion and electronics with radical leftist politics
London’s Test Dept. created the blueprint for industrial music in the early 80s, but distinguished themselves from peers and imitators with their heartfelt anarcho-socialist politics and immersive multi-media live performances.
The band’s powerful ethos of reclamation is indistinguishable from their music: industrial machinery “liberated” from scrap yards and used as percussion, concerts in unconventional venues like abandoned rail depots, collaborations with a striking Welsh Miners’ choir.
Test Dept. have always been on the frontline of radical activism; their 90s detour into techno was inspired by the Criminal Justice Act which targeted illegal rave culture, and their recent resurrection after many years dormant was spurred by the re-emergence of the far right as a mainstream political force.
In 2019 they signed with One Little Indian records to release “Disturbance”, their first new album in over 20 years. May 2020 sees a remix EP released on the Berlin label aufnahme + wiedergabe, while later in the year One Little Indian are slated to re-issue a box set of classic albums, as well as making their 1985 live collaboration with legendary singer/composer Diamanda Galas available for the first time.