Beating The Retreat (1984)
  • The Fall From Light
  • Kick To Kill
  • Total State Machine
  • Plastic
  • Inheritance
  • Cold Witness
  • Sweet Sedation
  • Spring Into Action
  • Compulsion *
  • Pulsation 1 *
  • Pulsation 2 *

BEATING THE RETREAT was TD's debut LP after signing to the Some Bizzare stable, originally released as a double vinyl box set through Phonogram. The record company could not handle the politics of the group and it proved to be their last release for a major label. It was also the name of TD's first illegal performance at Arch 69 which although sparsely attended on a Saturday lunchtime was to send shockwaves through the underground scene, TD had most definately arrived.

"The most astute and underrated song of the Eighties so far exhorts us all to "keep feeling fascination" - its obvious surely, that the facility to wonder is our only remedy left against the desensitised rituals mummifying popular music into irrelevant showbiz. So why don't we listen? So much is new yet nothing is new, there's nothing we have'nt heard to the point of numb familiarity. Well thats what I thought until I found Test Dept...

This Test Dept thing knows the power of doubt and the paralysis born of fear, gestures in awe of it, works in wonder of it, can't get to grips with it but, crucially won't succumb to it. Unique in todays pop depression, it confronts the cynicism adopted against the innefectiveness of our individual wills. That TD exist at all, after Thatcher's Falklands death-blow to our belief that public desire dictates anything, is a miracle indeed. Whether their refusal to accede to the brow-beaten zeitgeist can act as the catalyst to spark some new enthusiasm I can't say. But I sense that TD alone; today feel fascination." Steve Sutherland (Melody Maker)

* CD only (1987)
Compulsion (Machine Run) produced by Flood / Trigger / Test Dept
Pulsations (Human Run) produced by Richard Kirk / Steven Mallinder / Test Dept
Engineered by Paul Hardiman

NB: track order varies depending on release date

Cover Photograph - Richard H Smith

1 - Ken Thomas; 2,5,7 - Ken Thomas / Test Dept; 3 - Test Dept;
4,6 - Trigger / Test Dept; 8 - Genesis P Orridge / Test Dept
Recorded at Jacobs Studios, Farnham, Surrey
Engineered by Ken Thomas / Mark Stent / Alan Cross

Test Dept With:
F M Einheit - Tapes/Scrapes
Genesis P. Orridge - Noise Generator
Audrey Riley - Cello
Fiona Thompson - Harp

Brett Turnbull - Film / Visuals
Paul "Slug" Hines - Live Tapes
"One Eyed" Jack Balchin - Live Sound
Gary "Manson" Wignall - Transport / Maintenance
Yan "French Lieutenant" Devreux - Assistance

Beating the Retreat Box Front

Beating the Retreat Box Front Detail

Beating the Retreat LP 2 Front

Beating the Retreat LP 2 Rear

Beating the Retreat CD 3 Front