Monday, 25 June 2012

The Brand New Heavies - Sometimes 1997

FFRR Records BNHCD 8

That sticker alone would have made this CD single essential to me. Anything sporting a Masters At Work remix was a 'must have' in my book but, let's step back a little and look at the list of accolades on this release.

The Brand New Heavies hit the scene via the UK's Acid Jazz movement. In the late 80's they were an instrumental funk outfit playing new retro music to Soul music's 'Rare Groove' crowd. For their first album the group featured the incredible vocals of Jay Ella Ruth on a few tracks. For various reasons, the group then hired the services of the very competent N'Dea Davenport who became a member and brought much polish to the bands veneer. The down side of this was the decision to re-record the debut album which resulted in the Jay Ella Ruth recordings being virtually forgotten. For their third album Shelter, from which this single was taken (fifth if you include the re-recording of the debut and sideline rap release Heavy Rhyme Experience) N'Dea Davenport had split for a solo career and the band brought in Siedah Garrett, a much lauded vocalist who had sung with Dennis Edwards, Michael Jackson & Maysa Leak (Incognito).

As an album track, Sometimes was one of the stronger tracks and it was therefore a logical choice for single release. The remix treatment by 'Little' Louie Vega & Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez on the MAW Smooth Mix created a nice vocal dancefloor track. Much of the House music fodder was void of vocals and this is why Masters At Work have always been considered a cut (or six) above the rest. I don't consider this mix to be one of their better examples but in 1997 I thought it was great. There were quite a few MAW remixes of this track on vinyl.

Finally, the unique feature on this release for me is Q Tip. The acclaimed rapper/producer from A Tribe Called Quest, who came to the attention of the public via De La Soul and the Native Tongues Posse. Q Tip has since appeared on many releases and remixes but this was a new thing at the time. The Ummah (Arabic for "brotherhood") was a production team consisting of members of A Tribe Called Quest and Jay Dee. Their work on this release is what keeps it fresh. Enjoy!

  • Radio Edit
  • MAW Smooth Mix
  • Ummah Remix
  • Nuyoricans Meet The Heavies

The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Sometimes (BNHCD 8).zip Filesize: 36.27 MB


  1. Just re-upping this post from Mick. June seems to have become a Brand New Heavies month here on TSV.

    For the record, it's the original/album mix and the Ummah mix that do it for me! :)

    1. Hi, here's the Paul Johnson "Saying something" Full 12" rip...

      You might like these too...

      Holla at me :)

    2. Your Royal Bounceyness, with these beautiful musics you are really spoiling us!! :)

  2. Nice one Bounce, Mello too. B-)

  3. Melloizdaman.

    (see what I did there? No? I'll get my coat...)

    Actually, I'd love to post that, but I have no way of scanning vinyl sleeves now. :(

  4. Funny thing happened yesterday!

    MC Mello posted a Youtube link of "I teach you" on Facebook!!! Spooky!!
    I commented saying I still play it out every now & then & that I'd ripped it to mp3 recently.

    He thanked me & said he doesn't think he's ever heard it played out! :)


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