New Zealand - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 10 - 08/18/97
Everything's Going To Work Out Just Fine
Ready for a journey through stories of gloom and tales from the
dark side? Come on in to the Cakekitchen:
In my dream there was blood, Coming up out of the floorboards
And the river was covered in glass.
All the boxes were on fire, And the windows filled with wire.
Seemed so real. I was sure it was true
The lines above are taken from the fictious (I hope) world of Graeme
Jefferies and his Cakekitchen, on the 6th (?) album of his one-man-band.
The multi-instrumentalist (strings and keys) Graeme Jefferies has been
doing home-recordings in New Zealand's underground since the early 80s,
long before lo-fi became a term in popular music "Off-Broadway". At first
together with his brother Peter, as This Kind Of Punishment. Then the
brothers Jefferies parted company, to work separately on solo projects.
Peter got some critical acclamation for his 1991 album The Last Great
Challenge In A Dull World. Graeme has been working highly productive,
all around the pop underground of the world. His records has been released
on creative indie labels such as Flying Nun in his home country, Ajax,
Merge and Homestead in the USA, and, finally, Raffmond and Freek in Europe.
On last years album, The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, which was
recorded in New Zealand, France, England, and USA - he worked with a French
drummer/engineer (Jean-Yves Douet). Everything's Going... was written
and recorded in Germany and England, with additional drumming by one Markus
Acher. As you can see, he's a man of the world.
His music is quite low-tech, which gives his compositions a raw expression.
Together with his desperate singing, and the dim and nightmarish lyrics this
gives his music a rough authenticity. The lyrics seems to be pure and honest
from the dephts of a soul. Almost exposing mental nakedness, close to being
too private. Despite the dark stories he tells us, I still sense a certain
optimism in his story-telling. And small doses of humor, of the darkest kind.
You'll also find examples of lyrics to be double-edgy, with as much inbetween
the lines as in them. Such as in the epic, everlasting You Never Run Out Of
Luck. Being almost 12 minutes long, we get presented a rather strange and
fascinating story of life, and how tough it sometimes can be. But, still, you'll
somehow manage to get through in the end.
To be honest I think Mr.Jefferies should've been more critical when
structuring and arranging the songs on this album, but I guess he simply just
won't. I prefer last years release, on which you can find my favourite meal
from the Cakekitchen; Old Grey Coast. Anyway, the final song of
Everything's Going... is Graeme at his best; The Great Fire -
showing that he still can be in charge of the most beautiful sadness.
Copyright © 1997 Håvard Oppøyen