This inspired audio synthesis could be seen as the beginning of a music career defined as much by technical experimentation as song writing. Over fifteen years later, the same deconstructed vl tone makes an appearance on Downtown Puff (Gunga). Much of the material on the album was devised while Cake was living in a third-floor studio space on Gore Street in Auckland's red-light district. This particular audio environment - with its incessant street brawls, strip club pop and Doobie Brothers hits played by the covers band in the 24-hour bar downstairs - provided a peculiar backdrop for the evolution of delicate instrumentals on tracks such as 'Airshow' and 'Watching Me'. It was here too that Cake recorded the one-take improvised vocal for My Son the Harpist, an intentionally free-form lyric which reveals itself to be the story of a complex father/son relationship in a fictitious Pacific village.
Since demolished by a property developer called Carpark 80, as part of the dock area clean-up initiated by the Britomart transport project, this setting also provided lyrical inspiration for 'Oh Baby Bear' - an ode to Auckland's outmoded transport system. Although the album is released as a solo project, it represents a multitude of musical collaborations. Each track was developed as a separate entity and most musicians were only involved in one or two tracks. As the album was produced and recorded by Cake many of the people who worked on the album over the five years heard the finished product for the first time when Downtown Puff was released. Two of these collaborators are Geoff Maddock and Joel Wilton, the other sides of the creative triangle which made up the short-lived Flying Nun phenomenon Bressa Creeting Cake. At the end of 2005, Ed Cake was in hospital - Te Whetu Tawera, a mental health ward in the grounds of Auckland Hospital. A few weeks into Ed’s treatment, Christmas in the Park took place in the Auckland Domain next door to the hospital.
Ed’s former musical colleagues Goldenhorse took the stage and performed to a crowd of 250,000 people. Ed listened nervously to the music of Goldenhorse drift into his small hospital bedroom window. The following night in the hospital common room, the entire Christmas show was replayed on TV. For two nights in a row, Ed was confronted with his musical past and was forced to contrast his grim hospitalisation with the inescapable success of his former colleagues. Ed had reached crossroads of sorts, and after being discharged he began his new musical venture: Pie Warmer - named after his medication that he described as being like, “a pie warmer; my brain’s not too hot, not too cold”. The Fearsome Feeling album began production in the summer of 2005.
Ed Cake assembled Pie Warmer: Jason Smith, Tamasin Taylor and Cole Goodley. The band began rehearsing at Platform Studios on Queen St, Auckland. Some of the songs rehearsed in this early period were written during Ed’s stay in hospital. The album’s basic band tracks were recorded in four sessions, each session lasting only two hours. The subsequent overdubbing sprawled over several years. Ed defines ‘The Fearsome Feeling’ as love.
The album features songs about love, not love songs as such, but songs that blend ideas about love with fear, insanity, talkback radio, violence against children, death of a loved one, indecision, abandonment, fame, Michael King/motorcars. Pie warmer have completed their first album THE FEARSOME FEELING. The album was released 27th July 2009 - on Lil Chief Records NZ. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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