Here at TEDxSydney we’ve discovered a new sound. Listening to Tralala Blip it’s soon apparent they aren’t about getting the notes right. There’s something in the way they express themselves, it’s freeing and uncompromising.
What strikes us most about this electro pop quintet is that there’s purity in the way they play. Tralala Blip has created a space for improvisation. You can almost feel the sensitivity and awareness that moves between its members. The experience is wholly unusual; you hear the honesty in their music, so much so that the idea of wrong notes disappears.
The band has too many instruments to mention. Mat plays his Korg MS-20 semi modular synth. Zac has his Yamaha Tenori-On synth/sequencer. Phoebe uses her home made square wave oscillator synth and a Darth Vader voice transformer toy. Lydian creates on his Roland TR-8 drum machine, Frostwave SpaceBeam and Korg Kaossilator. While Randolf goes hard on a DSI Tempest drum machine.
Ahead of the main stage event, we caught up with the band’s guiding light Randolf Reimann, former frontman for 80s hardcore band Massappeal to explore what we can learn from Tralala Blip’s style and approach.
“Tralala Blip makes the most natural sounding pop. A bit of a contradiction because we use electronic technology, but Tralala Blip is so fluid. A lot of contemporary pop music is stifled and safe and ugly through its blandness. It’s predictable to an inch of its life,” says Reimann.
“I think listening to Tralala Blip can require some amount of openness, acceptance, letting go of a position and putting aside preconceived ideas. It can challenge our expectations around beauty and boundaries.
“However if the challenge is taken, the rewards are great and new worlds open up and a deeper understanding of diversity can be embraced instead of excluded or ignored,” he adds.
Music speaks to us on an emotional level. It connects somewhere deep in our soul and has the ability to strengthen social bonds by mirroring contemporary life, our interests and concerns.
We need to experiment to keep these reflections real. It’s our duty to push music in directions you wouldn’t expect. Without experimentation and boundary pushing, society would stagnate.
Reimann thinks that although experimenting can be an intimidating term, scientific with controlled environments and lab coats, he can’t imagine life without it.
“We definitely like exploring new possibilities with our music and we come from a deep and rich alternative music heritage.”
He continues, “I don’t think we concern ourselves with the idea of relevance , we are too busy working. We look for new music all the time as well as delving into the archives of electronic music making. We also have a growing collection of music making gadgets. This keeps us all curious and inquisitive.”
Reimann grew up screaming in a hardcore punk band so it’s to be expected that he still likes to push the envelope. Ongoing innovation is essential for our growth and expansion. Think of all the movements which have changed the world for the better and you can track their origins to the fringes of society. A brilliant idea rarely starts in the mainstream. Music has been unifying cultures for years and its influence often begins on the edges before breaking into popular culture.
Instead of judging, what if we listened as Tralala Blip does? What if we opened ourselves up to being comfortable in the unknown, would we see great shifts?
Reimann muses, “Tralala Blip represents voices that are not often heard. Like others making music and art we are questioning and enquiring about the human condition. We sing about love, loss and the beauty and wonder of our planet. We express this openly, in a way that is moving and vulnerable.”
Through their music Tralala Blip invites the listener to apply this freeing approach to life. Opening up new vibrations, which transcend into ways we can be more accepting of ourselves and those around us. What if the rest of us stopped worrying if we played the right notes and enjoyed just being in the moment? We think that sounds quite liberating if we’re honest.
Image: Original artwork by Mathew Daymond from Tralala Blip