We are The Bran Flakes and we are very happy that you came to visit us. We have many fun things for you. We hope our music brings you smiles and dreams of happy things. We like to scour records and tapes for aural delights and we believe that every record has at least ONE redeeming quality, maybe a snare drum or a man yelling "buttermilk," a bird chirping or a crispy bit of record crackle, and we try to mix them into something new in hopes of conjuring up happy memories of your first kiss, the experience of getting a new puppy or the childhood excitement of going to the fair and having cotton candy on a cool autumn day. The Bran Flakes live performances transform into a circus, with audience participation, dancing animals and video collage.
Mildred was feeling sad. All day long his bouncing ball would not bounce. Otis thought it might be due to there was no wind on that autumn day so he presented Mildred with a super bouncing ball that he could sit on and bounce around the city of Seattle on. Everyone was happy. Nobody was sad. Music seemed to come out of the air and in no time a new CD was released on the Happi Tyme label filled with dreams of happy things, clouds, bunnies, kitties, post it notes, pillows, cheese and pixie sticks. It was a time for celebration and on a balmy day in 2002 the boys released the CD into the wild. They do hope you enjoy the good times.
Don't forget to drink your buttermilk kids!
Aquarius Records, 2002
Seattle-based duo The Bran Flakes have put together another cherry of an album. Sonic plunderers who must have ridiculous amounts of thrift-store $1 records, The Bran Flakes painstakingly yet assuredly cut everything up -- macabre children's songs, sleigh bells, latin percussive rattles, afro cuban drumming, tooting horns, minor key strings, occasional drum 'n bass, bad disco, some goofy approximations of dub, wurlitzer organ, noir film samples, oompah oompah in the left channel, funky drummer-style breakbeat on the right -- and arrange everything into precise sonic juxtapositions, resulting in a very confident and enjoyable trip from beginning to end (in fact the end is a three minute long recitation of people's names, jesus how long did it take them to cut *that* stuff together?). The album's highest point comes when they cut up (Terry Riley 'You're Nogood'-style!) everyone's favorite muppets Kermit and Fozzie Bear singing 'Movin' right along...'. It's so frickin' wonderful and happy go lucky -- can't you just see 'em in the Studebaker? While most comparisons to fellow cut 'n pasters involve names like Wobbly and Negativland, I think the group will fit nicely right next to your Kid Koala tape, your People Like Us cd, and maybe even your 12' collection of solemn DJ Shadow, who uses the same tools -- vinyl -- but never cracks a smile, whereas The Bran Flakes are all about hilarity. Look at what moog pioneer Jean Jacques Perrey says about 'em: 'I enjoyed your record very much, it is so fresh, so cool, made for people who have a 'child soul' and at the same time perfectly elaborated harmonically and technically with some funny winks to other composers.'
Q Magazine (Translation from Russian by Nadia), 2002
'Sampledelica is similar to organizing nature preserves. Some intellectual minds are terribly depressed by the thought that hundreds, if not thousands of extremely interesting recordings of the last century may disappear into oblivion. The leader of The Bran Flakes, Mr. Otis Fodder reanimates them in different ways: on one hand he is the author of amazing music radio shows at the American 'Cool & Strange Music' magazine. On the other hand, he has his band The Bran Flakes where he brings the heritage of the ancestors under an intelligibly modern rhythmic dance music denominator, in other words, he puts snippets of obscure cartoons into, for instance, dub rhythm. 'Bounces!' is already the band's third album. Compared to the collages of our domestic Kostrov-Gitarkin duo, the lounge mutations of the Bran Flakes are more erudite - the application of their knowledge is by far superior to the western components of the 'Knives'' repertoire. The authors from the both continents are similar though in their obvious ecological enthusiasm which actually surpasses their instrumental skills.' - Nikita Kirkin
Indieville, September 2002
So you like Negativland but they're too political. And People Like Us is fine and all, but she keeps going on those long stretches of vocal sample conversations. Or maybe you're just looking for something new on the tape collage scene. Well, either way, The Bran Flakes are here to make you smile and giggle, as they've packed on whole loads of thrift store sounds to this album, snatching samples from just about everywhere you can imagine. It's pretty safe to say that if you enjoyed It's Hard To Find A Friend, Bounces! will satisfy your Bran cravings. As with Friend, the Flakes have loaded this album with tongue-in-cheek humour. For example, the title track lays an aerobic vocal instructor's voice ('Bounces, bounce two, stretch two') over the bassline to 'Another One Bites The Dust'. Then there's 'Ding Dong Dub', a happy 60-ish kitsch piece that adds a whole new dimension to the old 'Ding Dong Bell' nursery rhyme. It's the first time I've heard the classic song being put in such a context. Another favourite is 'Mr. Snuggles', a track that places a love song about someone (or something) named Mr. Snuggles over a deliberately off-key background. This produces an eerie, yet giggle-inducing, atmosphere. There's a lot to love in Bounces! and not much to hate. While a few of the tracks may not be to everyone's liking, anyone with a pulse should find themselves laughing along to this album. Even when you think it's going for a long, 'serious' instrumental session, the Flakes will throw in a well-timed soundbit about panties and get you hooting all over again. All in all, Bounces! is a surprisingly catchy trip to the world of kitsch, schmaltz, and oddly familiar melodies. This album has secured The Bran Flakes a place in the world of Negativland and People Like Us, and proves itself to be easily one of the year's most hilarious records. - Matt Shimmer
Gullbuy, September 2002
The Bran Flakes are Otis Fodder and Mildred Pitt, from Seattle WA. They use samples from old records to put together collages which work as unified pieces independent of their sources. Bounces! Is their second album, the follow-up to I Don't Have a Friend (see the August 14 2001 gullbuy). I really liked that record, and I love this one too. There was no disappointment at all - and I had high expectations - the type which are rarely met when the desired object is finally in your hands. I have listened to this CD very many times during the last 2 months. There are so many moments I love on this CD that I can't really tell it all. I strongly advise you to seek out this CD using the links above. If I wanted to convert someone to this CD in one song I would play Good Times A Goo Goo, The Bran Flakes appropriation of a Kermit the Frog Sesame Street song. Good Times A Goo Goo takes the Kermit song intact and just ups the ante a bit by repeating parts. The song has that 1-2, 1-2 beat that the best children songs use. It is a great march for happy times. My favorite songs are No More Free Will, a song with so many distinct parts it seems like several songs. I don't know what the voice which says the title is sampled from, but it makes me think of the 70s cult film Zardoz (I think it is the hunter horn that reminds me). I love the polka samples in No More Free Will song too. Cool Fresh Apple Cider is the best whistling song - even better than Arling & Cameron's 'Ein Abend in Wein' from their 1998 'All In' CD. Bounces is very similar (but even better than) the Ursula 1000 song 'Funky Bikini' from his 1999 CD 'The Now Sound Of...' Both songs combine an aerobics instructor leading a class, with a dance beat turning it all into a 'Simon Says' game. Example 16a is a collage of an instructor from a language tape introducing 16 phrase examples, minus the phrases. The effect is awesome. Example 16a works best when played together with the following song, Intermission Breakdown. Intermission Breakdown is TV dinner music - roller rink styled upbeat motivational stuff like you might have expected Combustible Edison to cover in their day. Mountain Pasture Party has fiddle, hallelujahs,and many other samples including cartoon puddy cats. It is pure winner. Pure Love uses great lounge samples like I Monster used on their Daydream In Blue single, or like you might expect to hear on an Elektrotwist song. The CD ends with Bottom, which is a steady stream collage of celebrities and organizations introducing themselves. It is an incredible end to a truly awesome record. Anyone listening to Bottoms is bound to hear someone which seems to have been added to the list just for them. I have detailed 9 songs out of 31. There are only 2 songs I'm not crazy for. The first is Ding Dong Dub. I guess I have to say that it is Dorota that won't let me play the track, as the lyric is about drowning a cat. I played the song on the radio and my friend Charles called and said his daughter asked him why anyone would want to hurt a cat. The other track is Mr. Snuggles. It is the only original 'song' on the CD. It sounds more like something the Seattle label Slabco would have put out than something The Bran Flakes would do. Like Ding Dong Dub, there is nothing inherently wrong with Mr. Snuggles, it is just my least favorite track. These are small trifles for an independent CD as original and enjoyable as Bounces. Pick this one up! - Carl
Score, Baby, 2002
Seattle's favorite sampledelic sound collagists The Bran Flakes are back and that's likely to make you very very happy -- even if you don't know why because you've never heard The Bran Flakes before -- you will be very very happy regardless. :-))) Listening to The Bran Flakes is not unlike being on really really good hallucinogens -- or so they tell me (the voices in my head, of course). But seriously, Bounce! is a delirious, beat-driven aural exploration of thrift store records (particularly of the kiddie variety). The tracks are a bit hard to describe, so dig some of the titles: 'Good Times a Goo Goo,' 'Trash Can Fun,' 'Mr. Snuggles' and 'Perversion for Profit.' There are 31 tracks on this 70+ minute Happi Tyme record. Even Jean Jacques Perrey likes it. And the name checking at the end is inspired stuff. Fabulous stuff for cats and kittens who enjoy the warped sensibilities of Tipsy.