After forming in late 2007, Tralala Blip have released a string of albums on renowned labels such as Disembraining Machine and Room 40’s A Guide to Saints label. The Northern NSW avant-electronic artists have gathered quite a following for their unconventional approach to songwriting and performance. In February 2016 Tralala Blip completed a two week residency at ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany and performed live at ZKM’s Globale Festival.They’re also playing the Unsound Festival in Adelaide on Friday 26th February. With such a peculiar and difficult to pin down sound we thought we’d take the opportunity to inquire about their formative influences.
From Randolf of Tralala Blip:
Black Dog – Spanners (Warp)
Around 1995 I think was when my band Massappeal released our final lp, Nommo Anagonno. I’d pretty much stoped listening to rock or guitar based music by about 1989 and after our gigs at the Lansdowne in Sydney, say around 1am, I’d often be dialling numbers to get directions to warehouse parties. I’d get some caffeine into me, and with a punk girl who introduced me to the warehouse scene, we’d be dancing until sunrise, then we’d go surfing down the south coast. By 1990, I was convinced that techno and industrial music was more punk rock than punk rock.
Around the time of Nommo Anagonno, I purchased a CD by the Black Dog. I’d been obsessed with the label Warp Records for a year or so and I think I just listened to Spanners because of the label it was on. I remember noticing a song titled “nommo” on the back cover, I was in Central Station Records I believe and I was really excited with this discovery. I’d found like minded people! By that title, I knew that they must have been reading the same books as I and interested in similar stuff. UFO stuff. Spanners is full of dialog samples of people talking about UFO experiences, probably Roswell stuff. The record will always be special to me. I even named a gecko who resided in my house Raxmus after the song of that name. I still listen to Black Dog and Plaid. Plaid’s Reachy Prints is as great as anything they have ever done.
Rites Of Spring – Rites Of Spring (Dischord)
Like the reason I initially listened to The Black Dog, Rites Of Spring happened to be on the same label as Minor Threat. Dischord Records. In the 80’s, there were five record shops I visited most weekends, Waterfront Records, Phantom Records, The Anarchist Book Shop, Red Eye Records and Galleon Records out at Fairfield. I purchased Rites Of Spring from the Anarchist Bookshop in Redfern around 85-86. Around the time Massappeal started or a year or so after. I could try and write about this record all night. But it would not do it justice. It’s a perfect piece of post hardcore. It’s quite beautiful. A record that comes close would be by label mates, Gray Matter and their record, Take It Back.
Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport (ATP Recordings)
I initially listened to Fuck Buttons because I’m a huge Andrew Weatherall fan and he produced this LP. I hear Andrew all over this. If you are familiar with Two Lone Swordsmen then you’ll know what I mean. I think I was hungry for a new Swordsmen record or something from Andrew that was less rockabilly and more electronic. something like Stockwell Steppas or Stay Down. The Lisbon Maru from Tarot Sport is a killer tune.
Two Lone Swordsmen: Stockwell Steppas (Emissions Audio Output)
This is a weird and sexy record, and it goes back to around the same time I discovered the Black Dog. The end of Massappeal and rock music for me. This was sensual, heady, lopsided and sideways house music. I was watching a lot of old punk comrades look back to 60’s and 70s rock for inspiration. I was so not interested. The future for me, no, the present, was techno, house, IDM and ambient music. And the weirder the better. Hard to choose one track from this. It’s all great and each track is quite different. Spin Desire if ya wanna dance sideways. Another Heady Cocktail for any dubby time of the day.
Lead Into Gold: Age Of Reason (Wax Trax! Records)
Around 1987 Massappeal toured Australia supporting the US metal band Anthrax. By 87, the massappeal tour van mixtapes included tracks by Ministry, TG, The Young Gods and Front 242. Our sound guy at the time suggested we open our set on the Anthrax tour with Hey Poor by Front 242. By the late 80’s, I was hunting down releases on Wax Trax! Records. Much time and money was spent at Red Eye Records. Massappeal supported The Rollins Band in 89’ on the east coast tour. We played Byron Bay and I fell in love with the place. In 1990 I returned to Byron for a surfing holiday. I spent two weeks camping there with one cassette in my Walkman. On side A was Lead Into Gold: Age Of Reason. Side B Tom Waits: Swordfish Trombone. I still really like Age Of Reason. Lead Into Gold is the solo project of Paul Barker of Ministry. My interest in Ministry waned very early on. But Lead Into Gold, I still listen.
Walker & Khan – Radiowaves (Harvest)
I wanted to talk about the first 3 Pole LPs, In particular Pole 3, and about Radiowaves by Walker & Khan but i’ll move on to some recent stuff that i have been liking. But before I do, Radiowaves is an all time record for me. full of 303 madness and dub techno space jams. A modern companion to Radiowaves would have to be TM404 – self titled. slow tempo dub techno made with multiple Roland royalty such as 303’s, 202’s, 101’s 808’s and Space Echo!
Primitive Motion – Pulsating Time Fibre (Bedroom Suck Records)
A duo from Brisbane that i adore is Primitive Motion. Tralala Blip have played a couple of shows with them and i have travelled up from Byron to Brisbane just to see them on numerous occasions. I reckon Pulsating Time Fibre is an amazing road record. up there with Autobahn. Every time i walk past The Golden Light Clinic in Brunswick Heads, i think of PM.
Scraps – Electric Ocean (Fire Records)
Another Brisbane artist Tralala Blip have played with that we all really like is Scraps. Electric Ocean is so beautiful and sweet. Lydian and I often sing along to this in the car on the way to TLLB practice. “This song can make you fall in love.” Lydian once said. He thinks it has magic powers.
Nun – Nun (Aarght)
Another aussie record that gets smashed in the car is NUN -self titled. Jenny is a super front person. This record excites me like X-Ray Spex did when i was 17.
Paranoid London – self titled (Paranoid London Records)
This LP of back to basics acid house is raw and minimal. for the most part, it sounds like not much more than a 303 bass line, an 808 or 606 drum computer and some spoken word. Eating Glue gets blasted in the car a bit when Lydian and I are driving to band practice. It makes us laugh. Tralala Blip’s latest cassette, Oceans Of Love features quite a lot of 303 action. we all enjoy the randomness that comes with programming it’s sequencer. Programming hardware sequencers is a big part of Tralala Blip’s writing process.
From Lydian Dunbar of Tralala Blip:
Kraftwerk – Computer Love (Emi)
Randy played Kraftwerk for me when I joined Tralala Blip in 2010. I have lots of Kraftwerk albums now but this is my favourite. Numbers is awesome! the beats are so good. And I like the different languages. Especially French. I also like Computer Love. Glass Candy did a cool version too. Randy plays it in the car sometimes coming home from band practice. I play it in my studio when I’m sad.
Hot Chip – Coming on Strong (Moshi Moshi Records)
I also like Hot Chip and the Coming On Strong album. Keep Falling has really funny lyrics. “move you like you stood in something nasty” ☺. When Tralala Blip did My Radio Heart, I would choose this song for us to dance to and warm up. It’s makes everyone dance crazy. We’re doing My Radio Heart again this year and I think