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Brenda Ray

D'Ya Hear Me!: Naffi Years, 1979-83

EM1108
Release Notes
  • A year-round collection of summery breezes

2016 repress. Sweet post-punk, with a heartfelt reggae/funk influence, analog dub effects and lovely femme-vox. A unique slice of late-70s/early-80s goodness, starring Brenda Ray, whose previous release on EM Records, Walatta, has been embraced by a large number of listeners. Recorded in North West England, D’Ya Hear Me! is warm-hearted, open, fresh and slyly experimental.

With an independent spirit and a true D.I.Y. soul, these thirteen tracks, originally released in various formats by Ray a.k.a. Brenda Kenny a.k.a. Natalie Sand a.k.a. Polly Rith’m and her musical friends under the moniker(s) Naffi/Naffi Sandwich, were recorded in a simple home-made studio, making full use of the creative options opened up through the full use of simple means – although the warm, full audio belies any notions of primitivism. Far from media-crazed London, Naffi created a musical world free from lust for the spotlight, focusing solely on the music, and the results are fittingly pure.

D’Ya Hear Me! is a wide-ranging release, with lovely vocal tracks, warm dubs and pleasingly odd instrumentals, all knitted together with a special trans-Atlantic rhythmic sense. Two songs of special interest here are “Moonbeams” and the Young Marble Giants-esque “Everyday Just Another Dream”, which are early versions of “Starlight” and “Another Dream” from Walatta. Also noteworthy are several previously unissued longer versions of some songs.