Welcome re-press of this sweet post-punk vocalist’s heartfelt reggae/funk with analogue dubs. A unique slice of late-70s/early-80s niceness from Brenda Ray, whose previous EM release, Walatta [EM1071CD], 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 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, to tape. 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. A year-round collection of summery breezes.
The Scream / D’Ya Hear Me! (original version)* / Naffi Take Away / Krazee Music / Krazee Version / Take Me In Your Car (original full-length version)* / Maybe It’s Because I’m Not A Londoner (longer version)* / Moonbeam / Rahmatullah / Everyday Just Another Dream (longer version)* / Yummy Yummy Ya! / Spring Thing- Hippy Dread / D’Ya Hear Me! (demo)*
* = Previously unissued