braer rabbit interview
(December 2003)

Braer Rabbit. We spoke. I forgot to ask them about the name. That's not entirely true. I almost never ask bands about their names. But now I come to write the intro, I wonder why. Why Braer Rabbit? Why the Uncle Remus character? Why the fluffy bob-tail and big ears? But then why call their label Foolproof Projects when any soul with half an ounce of sense knows that running a record label is less foolproof than foolish.


If time, money, stress and the avoidance of bullshitters are motivations in your life, that is. But anyway, Braer Rabbit are three electroconeys based in Brighton where they make bent dancefloor records stuffed with samples. I like them like they like carrots.

Who are Braer Rabbit ?

Puffinboy, Tiny hunter and Le Funki Gibbon.

And the same people are behind Foolproof Projects ?


Tell me a bit about yourselves.

Puffinboy: I spent years and years playing drums in bands. The only significant stuff, as far a I'm concerned, was Union Wireless, kind 0f lo-fi Krautrock improvisation, and also various samba bands in Leeds and Brighton. And we're talking full-on 100mph Rio-style batacada, not lounge music...These are the only things I've done which have any real influence on what I'm doing now. Since I've started doing my own stuff, I've got together more studio gear, played less and less in live bands (the final one being Speedboat, who went down 18 months back with all hands) and gotten more into the electronics. Oh yeah, and simultaneously doing lots of mundane day-jobs.

Tiny Hunter: Started promoting club nights in Guildford loosely based on funk/soul/hip hop/reggae, namely 'Connected vibes' and 'Melting pot' which were very broad-minded/eclectic nights before that term became a cliche. Had been record collecting since early '80's and had one of the largest bootleg tape collections in the UK. Went to about 4/5 gigs a week in London. Early big influences - Cabaret Voltaire, 23 Skidoo, New Order, Shriekback. About the same time started buying secondhand stuff, Mowtown, Stax, anything black! Remember going to London every Saturday to buy hip hop at Groove records in Soho, then the Belvedere pub in Richmond to hear Gilles Peterson.

Met the Puffinboy as I used to do super-8 films, projections etc. at Speedboat gigs (trying to recreate middle Earth...). Le Gibbon moved into the basement flat of the building I was living in.

Le Funki Gibbon: Enjoyed most of school life listening to and swapping hip hop tapes. Scratched my way through 3 midi systems before affording my turn-tables. Generally always wanted to noodle with music after learning to scratch for the first time, hence this Braer Rabbit situation.

And tell me about Foolproof Projects.

Puffinboy: Foolproof is basically just a label for any music we happen to be involved in, although I'm the only one who at the moment is actively making tunes outside of Braer Rabbit. We started putting out our own stuff 'cos no one else was going to do it, and I'm impatient, I hate the idea of sending out demos, waiting for someone else to um and er about maybe putting stuff out sometime. I just wanted to get on with it.

Ultimately it would nice to put out stuff by other people, you know, like a proper record label, but we just don't have the money at the moment. To say that none of us went to business school is something of an understatement.

Are you from Brighton?

Puffinboy: Nope, I'm from Crawley, but I lived in Leeds for about 8 years before moving down here.

Tiny Hunter: Moved to Brighton in 1995 from Tory toy town of Guildford.

Le Gibbon: No, Yeovil (Non-league, soon to be Division 3)

Did you move down to do music?

Puffinboy: Yes and no. I moved out of Leeds simply 'cos I needed a change, not because the music scene wasn't happening. But music was/is the only thing I'm interested in doing, so I was going to have move to somewhere which seemed to at least have something interesting going on.

Tiny Hunter: Got a call from some old friends in British hip hop group First Dawn. They had relocated to Brighton and wanted some fresh samples for the LP they were making. After hanging out with them I moved to Brighton a few months later. So yes.

Is Brighton a good place to be making cracked electro?

Puffinboy: Difficult question. To be honest, I could probably be doing this anywhere, cos I'm not playing live, just releasing records, so geography doesn't come into it so much. Especially now with the internet it's really easy to find people/radio shows/magazines etc. around the world who might be into the sort of thing that you're doing, and to get in touch with them. The most radio play we get is in Los Altos, California. I have to admit to being a bit lazy in checking out a lot of other Brighton electronic stuff though, partly lazy and partly put off by the idea of going to a gig where it's just one one guy sat on stage with a laptop. Not interesting usually. That said, I know some good people down here also making stuff, Lom recordings put out a fantastic record by Maxwell pleasure dome last year, and I heard a track by Fugiya & Miyagi that was right up my alley. As I said, I need to get out more.

Le Gibbon: Living amongst music heads in Holland Road has always inspired oneself.

Who else in Brighton do you are you keen on ?

Le Gibbon: Erm..Slack Sabbath always come through with good nites and generally keep things on a different scope. Also check out new stuff coming out on Dazed Gauntlet ( There's a bunch of Ltd. 7"s available.

Puffinboy: My favourite act down here are the Domestic 4. Also really like Electrelane & 7 & 7 is. I'm aquainted with an ensemble called Yeti, who have to be admired for trying to fuse Blue Cheer with Marillion in 2003. Admired or shot, one or the other.

So tell me what you're about, is there an aim or plan with Braer Rabbit?

Puffinboy: A plan???? Does it sound like there's a plan?

We just go through hundreds of records, and pull out things that hit us as being exciting or interesting. We're pretty broad minded, it doesn't have to be a straight ahead funky break, if it start sounding like a '60's horror soundtrack, fine, if it starts sounding like Pink Floyd, also fine. As to an aim, just to make good records, ones that we're proud of, excite us, and don't just sound like every other fucker on the block. And yes I want them to sell, I want to get the attention, want to get them heard.

If so, is it working?

Puffinboy: Sales are approaching triple figures I'm told.

What do you think of the comparisons with Stereolab, King Tubby, Kevin Shields etc. that Record Collector have bestowed on you?

Puffinboy: I love Stereolab and My Bloody Valentine, big influences. I can see the MBV influence coming through in 'Allez-z', but not in the other stuff. I don't listen to dub all that much but some of the production techniques have filtered through. I've got a really nasty old analogue delay that I use a lot, that's about the only reason I can think for comparing the Puffinboy tune to the King Tubby sound.

How would you describe your stuff? There's a noticeable lack of press releases with your records, so you haven't had to do it?

Puffinboy: My press releases just quote your reviews. This could be why Smash hits haven't been on the phone yet... Seriously though, I really don't like trying to describe stuff that I do. I do send out press releases, don't know why I didn't send them to you. What I do usually send out consists of a couple of stupid sentances that are meant to be funny but probably tell you fuck all about the record, followed by a few quotes from previous reviews, the dafter the better. I've seen a few 'professional' press releases which have sounded really pathetic, like the bands are applying for a fucking admin assistant job or somesuch. What's the point?

And Foolproof Projects, then. What's the big idea? And how ironic is the name trying to be?

Puffinboy: It just sounded good. We don't think too hard about stuff. If it sounds good, run with it.

You (Puffinboy) told me you weren't really interested in remixes. Why really not?

Puffinboy: No, I've got nothing against remixes really, it's just that 90% of the time if I really like a tune, I'm disappointed by the remixes. And viceS versa, if I like a remix, it's usually cos the original was boring. I've got no big theory about this at all, it was just an observation. We're up for having a go at remixing other people, we'll try anything. We have actually done one, of a tune by Nocopilot, For Lom Recordings, but this seems to have been shelved for the moment. And hey, if you want to have a go at re-mixing us, go ahead. We're very unlikely to release it ourselves, but we'll put it on the website (when it finally appears).

So what's happening next with Braer Rabbit and Foolproof?

Puffinboy: New Puffinboy 7" 'Voodoo for beginners' March/April, split Puffinboy/Braer single for Jonathan Whiskey Records sometime soon. I want to make bigger, phatter records, I need to work harder on them, at every aspect, to make something that really hits people. Better presentation too. We're all still just figuring out just what the Hell we're doing, trying out different ways of working. When you get into the studio side of things there's a lot of options open to you, a lot of possibilities.

Le Gibbon: I'd really like to do a radio slot with the whole Foolproof concept, generally taking a mixed load of music out around and beyond Brighton.
[An edit of this interview previously appeared in Careless Talk Costs Lives]

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