[dropcap]A[/dropcap] bit of history from the 80s Post Industrial scene. Both Coil, a band you should know if you frequently haunt this site as I am trying to convince everyone to love them, and Test Dept., unsung heroes of the early 80s, were mashed together with Jim Thirlwell a.k.a. Foetus and Current 93‘s David Tibet for a documentary that aired in 1988 on Dutch Television.
Combining video footage of concerts of the respective bands (not so much Coil as they didn’t play gigs in that time), especially Test Dept go in-depth with the political ambition of anti-commercialism and the ever-questioning ambition of Industrial Music towards existing structures. Re-imagining Pop with four highly influential acts that re-shaped avantgardistic music, especially Test Dept are close to Throbbing Gristle’s original approach of recording audio-documentaries of industrial suburbs—while Coil’s esoteric approach on Industrial Music is closer to their latter-day incarnation Psychic TV, an act both Peter Christopherson and Jhonn Balance were a part of.
Jim Thirlwell and David Tibet on the other hand show interesting points of view on their contemporary cultural surroundings, “trash culture” as Thirlwell coins (and embraces) it, and David Tibet’s scepticism towards modernity, rounded up by contradictory, yet very intenstive, live performances. Current 93’s ritual-like performance shows a completely different take on their surroundings than Jim Thirlwell, who Marilyn Manson, a prime example of trash culture obviously has copied a lot, without Foetus’ ever-present irony and sardonic laughter.
Unquestionably, the documentary displays an artsier-than-thou attitude fellow Post Industrial nerds should not be unfamiliar with, but instead of being a mere pose, those high profile words sound different if uttered by people that earned their respect in endless hours of recording classic material that doesn’t cease to be influential (blasphemical me would consider Test Dept far more important than their contemporaries Einstürzende Neubauten).
The 40 minute video, to be found on YouTube, is in English with Dutch subtitles and offers excellent audio and video quality. Enjoy.