Test Dept; the authentic industrialists, sonic material handlers, investigative agitators, utilisers and recyclers of society's debris have re-emerged to engage with the current cultural and political climate, exploring new ways of expression in a strategic programme of actions and releases. 'Tested Product' is the first in a series of re-releases in new and adapted artwork through newly formed 'DIY' Independent company PC-Press. This 12" for Record Store Day combines tracks from their first, now deleted, ompulsion' single (1983) and mixes of ace of Freedom' from their second major studio album ¶he Unacceptable Face of Freedom' (1986). The tracks ompulsion' and ulsations' were recorded in Metropolitan Wharf, Wapping by Paul Hardiman (noted for his work with Lloyd Cole, The The and Chris De Burgh!) on a mobile studio. That Wharf, now a block of luxury flats, is a symbol of Test Dept's disgust for the transformation of parts of London into a rich elite's playground since they first recorded in the Thatcher Conservative government presided recession of the early 1980s. ompulsion' produced by Flood and Trigger and ulsations' produced by Richard Kirk and Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire were fine examples of the mash-up of Industrial sounds and emerging dance music. European synths and Detroit house rhythms mixed with the heaviest industrial metal sounds ever recorded make these tracks timeless and key examples of the groundbreaking music that Test Dept were producing. On Face Of Freedom 2 and 3 the voice of Leon Britton makes an appearance, sampled to show the evasion, attempted manipulation and hypocrisy of politicians in the media spotlight. The music highlights the post-punk/funk sensibility of the group and the sound of a classical industrial aural collage that would become the hallmark of many experimental and mainstream groups. Britton was also pictured on the cover, and now on the label of this release, with worms coming out of his mouth! The 'can of worms' has certainly made the contemporary political agenda interesting and again Test Dept display the foresight of the provocation in their work and the continual attempts in their sound and visual representations to highlight political hypocrisy.
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