Nov 9, 2018

RhoDeo 1844 Grooves


Tonight's Artists are an acid jazz and funk group formed in 1985 in Ealing in west London. Centered around songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Simon Bartholomew and Andrew Levy, the core members of the group since its founding, they are best known for a string of successful singles in the early 1990s featuring N'Dea Davenport as lead vocalist. . . .....N'Joy

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Pioneers of the London acid jazz scene, the Brand New Heavies translated their love for the funk grooves of the 1970s into a sophisticated sound that carried the torch for classic soul in an era dominated by hip-hop. Formed in 1985 by drummer/keyboardist Jan Kincaid, guitarist Simon Bartholomew, and bassist/keyboardist Andrew Levy -- longtime school friends from the London suburb of Ealing -- the Brand New Heavies were originally an instrumental unit inspired by the James Brown and Meters records its members heard while clubbing the rare groove scene in vogue at the moment. The trio soon began recording their own music, gaining enormous exposure when their demo tracks were spun at the influential Cat in the Hat Club.

Eventually adding a brass section, the Brand New Heavies built a cult following throughout the London club circuit, surviving the shift that saw the rare groove scene fade in the wake of acid house. After an earlier recording deal with Cooltempo yielded the single "Got to Give," the Heavies -- now including vocalist Jay Ella Ruth -- signed with the fledgling indie label Acid Jazz; recorded on a budget of just 8,000 pounds, the group's self-titled LP appeared in 1990 to strong critical acclaim, resulting in a licensing deal with the American company Delicious Vinyl. With Ruth now out of the band, Delicious Vinyl hand-picked N'dea Davenport as her successor, insisting the Heavies re-record tracks from their debut for their first U.S. effort, also an eponymous release that appeared in 1992.

After scoring at home with "Dream Come True" and "Stay This Way," the single "Never Stop" soon landed on the American R&B charts, with the Heavies the first British group to accomplish such a feat with a debut single since Soul II Soul several years earlier; a subsequent New York performance augmented by rappers Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest) and MC Serch (3rd Bass) inspired the group to begin absorbing hip-hop, and that summer they cut Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1, an album including guest appearances by rappers including Main Source, Gang Starr, Grand Puba, and the Pharcyde. Released in 1994, Brother Sister, which went platinum in Britain, was Davenport's last recording with the Heavies before beginning a solo career; she was replaced by singer Siedah Garrett in time for 1997's Shelter. Two years later, the group reappeared with a British best-of album entitled Trunk Funk: The Best of the Brand New Heavies; the title was recycled the following year for an American compilation, Trunk Funk Classics: 1991-2000, which featured a new song recorded with Davenport.

In April 2006, the Brand New Heavies reunited with N'Dea Davenport and former label Delicious Vinyl. A new album, Get Used to It was released on 27 June 2006 via Starbucks and more traditional music retail outlets. The album was recorded in New York and London; and the lead single "I Don't Know Why (I Love You)" was issued in early May. The single was notable for being one of very few late releases to feature the trademarked A Tom Moulton Mix, as he had been asked to contribute remixes. Later that year, their Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1 album track "Jump 'n' Move" featuring Jamal-ski was featured on the soundtrack for the 2006 computer animated feature film Happy Feet and the in-game soundtrack for 2004's NBA Live 2005 and 2009's NBA 2k10. The band toured at the end of 2006.

The Heavies recorded a cover of "C'est Magnifique" (originally from Cole Porter's 1953 musical Can-Can) for an early 2009 TV ad by LancĂ´me. The song also appeared in an early track listing of the Heavies' 2009 live album, but wasn't eventually included. The double album Live in London was released in October 2009. The studio version of "C'est Magnifique" was released as a download and also included on a couple of various artists compilations.

The Brand New Heavies released a download instrumental album called Dunk Your Trunk in November 2011. The album, recorded in only four days and described as 'funky library music' is directed at 'TV and Movie people to add to their programmes and films'. The 5-track Dunk Your Trunk Remixed E.P. was released on download on 1 May 2013. Dawn Joseph was lead vocalist for The Brand New Heavies from 2013 to 2015.

The Brand New Heavies eighth studio album Forward was released on 6 May 2013. Lead vocal duties on the album are divided evenly between N'Dea Davenport, who features on the first single "Sunlight", Jan Kincaid and Simon Bartholomew, making his debut as lead vocalist on this album, and new UK vocalist Dawn Joseph. While the album was produced by the Heavies themselves, as all their previous albums, there are also new collaborators, including songwriters Johan Jones Wetterberg, Marc Jackson Burrows, Rita Campbell and Tim Laws and mixing engineer Toni Economides.

On 10 October 2013, The Brand New Heavies announced via their website that Dawn Joseph had officially joined the band as full-time lead vocalist and that the band were working on a new studio album slated for release in early 2014. On 21 February 2014, The Brand New Heavies played at Buxton Opera House with support from British acoustic blues singer songwriter Matt Woosey. The Brand New Heavies ninth studio album Sweet Freaks, with Dawn Joseph on vocals, was released on 24 October 2014.

Jan Kincaid and Dawn Joseph both left The Brand New Heavies in late 2015 and N'Dea Davenport rejoined shortly thereafter. In May 2016, The Brand New Heavies announced two upcoming projects. The first, a new studio EP entitled TBNHND, is scheduled for release in Summer 2016 with N'Dea Davenport on vocals. The band also announced their intention to release Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 2 in 2017, a followup to their groundbreaking 1992 album Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1.

In July 2016, the band began touring extensively in Europe and Japan with Sulene Fleming on vocals.

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Many of the artists who were part of Britain's soul scene of the late '80s/early '90s, including Soul II Soul, Lisa Stansfield, and Caron Wheeler, took a high-tech, neo-soul approach, combining '70s-influenced R&B and disco with elements of hip-hop. The equally impressive Brand New Heavies, however, used technology sparingly, stressed the use of real instruments, and were unapologetically retro and '70s-sounding through and through. Drawing on such influences as the Average White Band and Tower of Power, the Heavies triumph by sticking with the classic R&B approach they clearly love the most. The band has a jewel of a singer in N'Dea Davenport, who is characteristically expressive on "Dream Come True" and "Stay This Way." Real horns -- not synthesizers made to sound like horns -- enrich those gems as well as the sweaty vocal funk of "People Get Ready" and "Put the Funk Back in It" and the jazz-influenced instrumental "BNH." While this fine album enjoyed cult hit status, it was sadly ignored by American urban contemporary radio.

  The Brand New Heavies - The Brand New Heavies     (flac  295mb)

01 BNH 4:47
02 Dream Come True 4:52
03 People Get Ready 3:45
04 Never Stop 4:25
05 Put The Funk Back In It 3:25
06 Gimmie One Of Those 3:42
07 Ride In The Sky 3:25
08 Sphynx 4:45
09 Stay This Way 6:10
10 Shakedown 4:20

The Brand New Heavies - The Brand New Heavies   (ogg   105mb)

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"Brand New Heavies play the sh*t that/People used to listen to in '70s Chevys." With that succinct and flawless couplet from the awesome opening track, "Bonafide Funk," Large Professor helped to explain why there was a certain herd of influential rappers who were enthralled by the Brand New Heavies' sleek (some would say slick) and urbanely stylish Anglo take on classic American funk and soul after the quartet released its eponymous debut in 1991: They were pulling the very same vintage-groove LPs from their crates for inspiration. When the Heavies made their first trip to American shores, both Q-Tip and 3rd Bass' MC Serch were quick to show their respect by hopping on-stage with the band (likely the event that planted the seed for Heavy Rhyme Experience), and the latter rapper even predicted that The Brand New Heavies would be the source material for a decade's worth of loops and samples for rap producers. Serch's enthusiastic forecast never quite materialized, but it is hard to argue with his logic after you hear this landmark collaborative experiment. A live hip-hop band wasn't a complete novelty at the time -- proto-rapper Gil Scott-Heron utilized jazz backing, Tackhead was the house band for Sugarhill Records all the way back in the late '70s, and the self-proclaimed "world's one and only hip-hop band," Stetsasonic had been fully live for several years by that point -- but never before had rap taken such an on-the-fly, jam-like approach. Spontaneous combustion resulted. Never before (and perhaps never since) had the Heavies managed to sound this deliciously in-the-pocket and playful, and the MCs beautifully follow their lead. Guru sounds looser and more whimsical on "It's Gettin Hectic" than on any Gang Starr track. Simon Bartholomew's teasing guitar lines poke holes in Grand Puba's swollen-tongued bluster on "Who Makes the Loot?" Kool G. Rap is given the blaxploitation backing he had always deserved. And Ed. O.G. and Pharcyde do verbal gymnastics that must be heard. But every vocalist here blooms from the pairing. The only regret is that N'Dea Davenport was not included in some capacity, considering how much she added to the Heavies. Too bad, as well, that there was never a volume two. One wonders what sort of magic Posdnuos and Trugoy of De La Soul, the Leaders of the New School trio, Rakim, or Chuck D. could have conjured had they been tapped as collaborators, or from the West Coast Ice Cube and Del tha Funkee Homosapien. Still, Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1 is a match made in heaven.

The Brand New Heavies - Heavy Rhyme Experience   (flac  254mb)

01 Bonafied Funk 3:57
02 It's Gettin Hectic 4:00
03 Who Makes The Loot? 3:24
04 Wake Me When I'm Dead 3:41
05 Jump N' Move 3:18
06 Death Threat 3:21
07 State Of Yo 3:35
08 Do Whatta Gotta Do 3:22
09 Whatgabouthat 3:07
10 Soul Flower 3:41

The Brand New Heavies - Heavy Rhyme Experience (ogg   88mb)

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Excursions: Remixes & Rare Grooves was released in the United States by Delicious Vinyl Records.
This album functions as a component to the US release of Brother Sister. Its cover art mimics the UK release of Brother Sister. Among its tracks are the two bonus tracks from the UK version of the album that were unavailable stateside. The UK hit "Close To You" was previously only available on the Pret-a-Porter motion picture soundtrack. "Bang" and "O-Fa-Fu" were a pair of B-side instrumentals from the UK CD-single of "Stay This Way" in 1992. "Keep It Coming" is an extended version of a Jan Kincaid-penned B-side on The Heavies' "Don't Let It Go to Your Head" single.

Since the Brand New Heavies were always more club-centric than their contemporaries, it shouldn't come as a surprise that their remix effort, Excursions: Remixes & Rare Groove, is entertaining. Nevertheless, it is a bit of a surprise that it's as cohesive as it is, considering that it contains a selection of remixes, rare tracks, and new songs. It still pales somewhat to the clearly focused studio efforts, but there are enough gems to make it necessary for hardcore Heavies fans.

The Brand New Heavies - Excursions (Remixes & Rare Grooves)   (flac  409mb)

01 Mind Trips (BNH Remix) 4:57
02 Bang 3:55
03 Brother Sister (The Angel Remix) 5:04
04 Close To You 4:07
05 Dream On Dreamer (Angel Remix) 4:25
06 O-Fa-Fu 2:45
07 Keep It Coming  6:14
08 Forever (Soulpower Remix) 5:09
09 Keep Together (Jan Kincaid Version) 4:59
10 Country Funkin' 4:44
11 Worlds Keep Spinning  5:08
12 Midnight At The Oasis (Ian Green Remix) 3:44

The Brand New Heavies - Excursions (Remixes & Rare Grooves) (ogg   164mb)

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By the time the Brand New Heavies released Shelter in 1997, urban R&B was shifting toward the more organic grooves that they helped pioneer in the early '90s. Although the Heavies were into acid jazz as well, they smoothed over many of the experimental elements of their music in the mid-'90s, leaving behind a seductive, earthy, and jazzy variation of urban soul. That provided the foundation for Shelter, their first album featuring Siedah Garrett as lead singer. Garrett's smooth voice helps push the band toward more conventional territory, yet their songwriting is stronger than most of the contemporaries, and their sound is funkier and more convincing. While there are no standout singles on Shelter, it's a uniformly engaging listen, illustrating that the Brand New Heavies are one of the great underrated urban R&B bands of the '90s.

  The Brand New Heavies - Shelter     (flac  405mb)

01 I Like It 4:03
02 Sometimes 4:45
03 Shelter 5:01
04 You Are The Universe 4:13
05 Crying Water 4:17
06 Day By Day 4:41
07 Feels Like Right 4:21
08 Highest High 4:28
09 Stay Gone 4:56
10 You've Got A Friend 3:48
11 Once Is Twice Enough 3:58
12 After Forever 5:23
13 Last To Know 4:25

The Brand New Heavies - Shelter (ogg   138mb)

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