Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

26 July 2020

C·30 C·60 C·90 Go

This all started after I dug through a box of cassettes (anybody remember those???) & came across this gem that is pertinent to this very moment in so many ways. But I'll go on long enough below, so, without further adieu...






Test Dept.

Test Dept. crawled from London's New Cross squats in 1981. 






Graham Cunnington, Jonathan Toby Burdon, Paul Hines, Angus Farquhar, & Paul Jamrozy.

Test Dept.

Making music with salvaged materials from factory areas & junkyards near-by.






"The physical location of Test Dept. at their inception was very close to the artery of the city, The River Thames, from which the lifeblood of the British Empire was born. There was always a certain irony and lost humour in the fact that the waste and detritus of this old world could be found in the proliferation of scrapyards amidst the decaying docks on our doorstep. The great Maritime centre of Greenwich where many British admirals had planned their wars and voyages, was adjacent to Deptford where we scavenged and foraged for scrap metal which was forged into a sonic battery of epic proportions. The local rag and bone men (look it up), used to come past our squatted house in Nettleton Road (New Cross) and drop off old water tanks, car springs, sheet metal, gas cylinders anything that had a sonic resonance and could be hit with force with metal drumsticks or sledge hammers. This utilitarian approach based on artistic integrity and economic necessity were to form the modus operandi of Test Dept."






The group became renowned for the staging of huge multimedia events at obscure venues: a railway works in Glasgow; a sand quarry; Cannon Street Station in London; a Welsh car factory. They were equally as notorious for their political agenda, which has included action against apartheid, the rise of neo-Nazism, & Britain's Criminal Justice Act.






Feared & monitored by the British establishment, tailed across East Germany by the Stasi, sponsored by the condemned Greater London Council, & regularly hosted by British Rail, the history of Test Dept. in the 1980s alone is remarkable, yet their often prophetic role in the struggles of that era are still often under-rated. They were always on the front line of struggles against pit closures & stood proud against Apartheid. Much of what they tried to warn against three decades ago has now come to pass in even more nightmarish forms than even they then addressed.


Regrouping in 2014 after nearly two decades, Test Dept. are more vital than ever. Here's an example of what they’re up to since their phoenix re-arose...




Faces of Freedom (HeadFuck) NOzone Mix – Test Dept from Test Dept on Vimeo.



& here's the cassette that I found...



Test Dept. - European Network 1-9-8-5 cassette, V2Uitgave V207, 1985.
decryption code in comments

Label Side -

Victory
Kick to Kill
Fist
Corridor of Cells
51st State of America

Blank Side -

Inheritance
Total State Machine
Shockwork
Finale

The cassette comes packaged in an oversized cardboard box with two inserts. The cassette itself is in a regular snapcase, the tape being labeled on one side with a greyscale looking label sticker.

Recorded on VHS Hi-Fi Stereo Videotape by V2 Operatives 1-11-1985.

I  have also included in the download both sides in their original format, not separated into individual tracks.

About V2Uitgave:






V2 was founded in 1981 as an artist collective. A squat in the Vughterstraat 234 (short: V2_) in 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, accommodated artists from various disciplines. The founding members, including Alex Adriaansens (Alex died on December 30, 2018, after several years of struggling with cancer). & Joke Brouwer, named it a multimedia center. The building gave room for concerts & performances aa well as experiments with analog media, like TVs, loudspeakers, & Super-8 film. It also included an exhibition space for (wall) paintings, installations, & machine art. Bands like Sonic Youth, Einstürzende Neubauten, & Laibach performed at V2_ in the early days. It was a do-it-yourself period, where music, video, sound, & visual arts were combined & the artists took the arts to the street. This was a perfect pairing for Test Dept.






The V2_ location was changed in 1994 to Rotterdam & also renamed V2 Organisation as a venue or V2 Archief as a record label. V2 Uitgave (translated V2 edition or V2 release) was the cassette only label.

There were plenty of young artists in Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin who played music as well as making paintings and performances and set up their own venues to show their work. V2_ soon forged ties with places like the W139 gallery in Amsterdam and with projects in Berlin. The groups were united by a shared attitude to life and a DIY mentality. The V2_ artists’ main aim was to create a space where they could find their voices and express their artistic ideas. As they saw it, everything in society was already too packaged and framed. In the early years, they tried everything, experimenting with abandon. There were enormous paintings, installations, video presentations, shows by experimental musicians and punk bands. In retrospect, 1985 was the highlight of this early period, with performances by bands including Einstürzende Neubauten, Sonic Youth, Test Department, Laibach, and Die Tödliche Doris...Recordings of many shows were released on cassette.
                    Based on a long interview with V2_ founders Alex Adriaansens & Joke Brouwer, September 2017.  Compiled by Arie Altena



V2_ is now a 'Lab for Unstable Media'



The Manifesto for the Unstable Media was issued by V2_Organisation in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands in 1987.



MANIFESTO FOR THE UNSTABLE MEDIA

WE STRIVE FOR CONSTANT CHANGE; FOR MOBILITY.

WE MAKE USE OF THE UNSTABLE MEDIA, THAT IS, ALL MEDIA WHICH MAKE USE OF ELECTRONIC WAVES AND FREQUENCIES, SUCH AS ENGINES, SOUND, LIGHT, VIDEO, COMPUTERS, AND S0 ON. INSTABILITY IS INHERENT TO THESE MEDIA.

QUANTUM MECHANICS HAS PROVED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE SMALLEST ELEMENTARY PARTICLES, SUCH AS ELECTRONS, EXIST IN EVER-CHANGING FORMS. THEY HAVE NO STABLE FORM, BUT ARE CHARACTERIZED BY DYNAMIC MOBILITY. THIS UNSTABLE, MOBILE FORM OF THE ELECTRON IS THE BASIS OF THE UNSTABLE MEDIA.

THE UNSTABLE MEDIA ARE THE MEDIA OF OUR TIME. THEY ARE THE SHOWPIECES IN OUR MODERN HOMES. WE PROMOTE THEIR COMPREHENSIVE USE, INSTEAD OF THE OFTEN PRACTICED MISUSE OF THESE MEDIA.

WE LOVE INSTABILITY AND CHAOS, BECAUSE THEY STAND FOR PROGRESS. WE DO NOT SEE CHAOS AS SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST, BUT AS AN ORDER WHICH IS COMPOSED OF COUNTLESS FRAGMENTARY ORDERS, WHICH DIFFER AMONG THEMSELVES AND WITHIN WHICH THE PREVAILING STATUS QUO IS ONLY A SHORT ORIENTATION POINT.

THE UNSTABLE MEDIA MOVE WITHIN THE CONCEPTS OF 'MOVEMENT-TIME-SPACE', WHICH IMPLIES THE POSSIBILITY OF COMBINING MORE FORMS AND CONTENTS WITHIN ONE PIECE OF WORK. THE UNSTABLE MEDIA REFLECT OUR PLURIFORM WORLD.

UNSTABLE MEDIA ARE CHARACTERIZED BY DYNAMIC MOTION AND CHANGEABILITY, THIS IN CONTRAST WITH THE WORLD OF ART WHICH REACHES US THROUGH THE PUBLICITY MEDIA. THIS HAS COME TO A STANDSTILL AND HAS BECOME A BUDGET FOR COLLECTORS, OFFICIALS, HISTORIANS AND CRITICS.

ART____MUST____BE____DESTRUCTIVE____AND____CONSTRUCTIVE.

Enjoy & please watch the Test Dept. video...Crucial,

5 comments:

  1. JgMhtUj1utLgsBSdHEqTnOkhsGIbd_eZPshLQDcPIpw

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  2. This was a great read. Music, imagery, and provocative thoughts!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words. Been by your place regularly, grabbing Stink stuff. Just nothing vital to comment & little time these days.

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  3. Now this is a welcome find! I haven't come across any "new-to-me" Test Dept. in years. Many thanks!

    -Brian

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    1. Comments like yours just help re-inforce the reasons I do this blog. I postnup what I like, what I'm listening to, & what I think maybe someone else might not have heard before. It's great when someone such as yourself finds something that they like but may not have heard before. Thank you so much.

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