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Brenda Ray
Brenda Ray
Stationed in North West England in the late '70s, Brenda Ray began her musical career in the age of post-punk, operating under various aliases and melding raw punk instrumentation with dance rhythms and reggae influences. During this time, Ray produced D.I.Y. recordings as part of the nebulous Liverpudlian collective Naffi, operating as Naffi Sandwich and Brenda & the Beach Balls. Several singles were issued throughout the early '80s, all on an incredibly obscure local scale. In the mid-'90s, Ray was assisting reggae producers Sir Freddie Viadukt and Roy Cousins on a project that involved reissuing tracks from Cousins' Tamoki Wambesi label. Sparked by the project, Ray began recording her own compositions, building on original roots reggae rhythms from these vintage tapes and overdubbing her own vocals, melodica, and other various flourishes. This process stretched out between 1995 and 2005, with the end result being 2006's cult classic album Walatta, a critically acclaimed amalgam of lovers rock rhythms and displaced dreaminess. In 2012, a compilation of Ray's early post-punk work surfaced in the form of D'Ya Hear Me!: Naffi Years, 1979-1983. ~ Fred Thomas, Rovi
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