Those spoken word sections are uncannily Sarah Cracknell-esque aren't they? Quality-wise, "Walatta" is from the top drawer throughout with the tone being set right from the "Sweet Jane" shimmer of the intro to opening track and wafting pop masterpiece "Star Light":
Some dub heavyweights' names appear in the credits (Prince Far I, King Tubby etc.) and many of the sounds a novice like me would associate with dub records are present and correct (the forlorn melodica, the spring reverb and the odd vaguely rum-soaked sounding male singer) but, really, it's the softness of Brenda's voice and her lightness of touch as a producer which makes "Walatta" a record to obsess over. It's hard not to feel a little more positively about life after a period of immersion in it. Words like 'dream', 'sweet' and 'love' are recurrent and seep into your soul so that when on "D-I-Z-Z-E-E" she mildly suggests “Come on now and get unhinged, cos I am gonna make you swing” you're more than happy to get a little unhinged and have that second custard cream whilst dancing round the kitchen in the most understated way. Life's good when Brenda's singing.
Coming soon to Not Unloved: Brenda Ray - D'ya Hear Me! Naffi Years 1979-83
[Glaswegians: Monorail has a bunch of copies of "Walatta" on cd just waiting to take away yr dreich autumn blues!]
It's a wonderful record, isn't it? But, if you haven't already, do also check out D'ya Hear Me!: Naffi Years 1979-83, a collection of looser, collapsing grooves that might just be the best expression of the post-punk era's fascination for the possibilities and pregnancies within dub.ReplyDelete
Also: I love your blog!
Thanks for the comment and the kind words - much appreciated. I actually bought Naffi Years first and I adore it! If life hadn't stimied me so far I would've written about it already :) You're right it's sublime. I was totally unaware of Brenda until Stephen from The Pastels tweeted about her. Yet another reason why I owe The Pastels so much.