Midnite - Children Of Jah - Rastar
Vocally - Vaughn Benjaman as always had a touch of Norman Grant in his vocal style. Lyrically the man is unique. Stringing together ideas and concepts into song - and making it seem all so easy.
Some artists have that ability, and reggae music needs them now! Tunes like 'I Must Say' reach back to a time when reggae music was outward looking.
It was never just about great rhythms, it was about ideas and standing firm against babylon and its works.
This what the music of Midnite is all about. Look at the titles. 'Just To Live', 'Sense Less Event' 'Bad Man Trade'. This is not good time music. Its music to educate and inspire people - in dread times like these. With great rhythms and a some well forward production ideas this is yet another great work from a great band - forward!
Midnite - Kings Bell - I Grade
A long long time coming - the first album by Midnite recorded in Jamaica. Man like Earl 'Chinna' Smith and Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace can be found on the music of this next great work, from a very great band.
Does it make a big difference. No without apology! What is good about it, is that its good to see the foundation people in Jamaica working with a band like Midnite.
Recorded and Mixed at Tuff Gong - this set as got all the vibes that made the 50 odd other Midnite albums - alone and in collabartion a wonder of the reggae world.
The lyrics are the same mixture of cultural and reality interests - that made reggae a great music to listen. An exploration of history - not from people who have caused the problems, but from people who have made the world a better place.
Midnite - Anthology -
And so it came to pass that another Midnite finds release in this time!!
And what another great work it is. Fourteen tracks, but the real surprise is 'One Time' its a fast uptempo track bordering on ska or early reggae.
You can make great music at any tempo - but in recent years a lot of it as been made in the mid-tempo style, by bands like Midnite and a lot of other artists good to see and hear something new/old!
The remaining works drop into the slow and powerful style that Midnite are known for. They also cover every subject you can think of. Vaughn is in good form on vocals as well.
Another mystical and powerful set from a great reggae band.
Midnite - The Way - Rastar
The first 2011 release from Midnite. And it won't be the last! Everywhere they go this band spread good vibes. Real reggae music built to last from this time to the end of time.
It is that mystic feel that makes there music so good. They sing of things that are yet to come, the present and the past. They are all linked into real time.
Tunes like 'Love Is Among' feature a rhythm that comes from another time. While other tracks feature sounds that are from the present.
Vaughn Benjamin the lead vocalist sings in great style - adding a little bit grit in the vocals on these tunes.
Another track 'Still Going Forward' says it all. If anyone thinks that reggae music as nothing to offer in this time. They have not heard Midnite!
Midnite/Rastar - Treasure - VP
A truly remarkable album from Midnite. Once again through words and music they are able to take anyone for a trip into Africa. More than any other reggae band perhaps with the exception of MMR, Midnite concentrate on that continent.
From lyrics - that are like snapshots of every part. From east to west, north to south. To the music that is so deep. And yet they do not just recycle the works of MMR or Ras Micheal and the Sons Of Negus. They build on them. Those simple heartbeat rhythms - which are very d.n.a of reggae music are explored.
Its the bringing together of the lyrics and the rhythms that show time and time again just how deep Midnite want to go, and will go. Yet another great work!
Midnite & Lion I - Ark A Law
Midnite continual to make great music in combination or as just Midnite. It matters not, its the same concept. Deep Roots music, a combinaton of excellent rhythms and thoughtful message lyrics.
It is music like this that took reggae into the hearts of music fans all over the world. Its beyond the latest fashion its music from creation. Works like this will stand the test of time.
The rhythms and the songs flow from track to track as they do from album to album. If you enjoy songs of culture and reality written with true conviction, that speak of this time and times past. These works are for you.
Midnite Rastar - To Mene
Yet another magnificent release from the best reggae band in the world. Without apology!!!! Another great mix of great rhythms, superb vocals and excellent lyrics. Its the rhythms that are of interest here. They are minimal - not dancehall minimal, roots minimal. Its something new to my ears. They are not making anything like this in Jamaica or in the UK. And that is part of the problem in with reggae today. They should be. Now is the time to work on something new. Change the beat. And that means you come up with a new reggae beat. Not something that sounds like disco or from some other part of the planet. Of course what makes this work is the lyrics and vocals as well. Midnite just make it seem so easy. When its the hardest thing there is. Fantastic set.
Midnite - Lustre Kings - Infinite Dub - Lustre Kings.
Everything Midnite does is of great interest to the Small Axe massive. A band yes, A collective yes, and a whole lot more. This is the second dub album from them - and its another great work. A very complex - but dense sound - unlike anything else. And that should not be a surprise to the followers of Midnite. Lustre Kings - are working with a load of artists - including Lutan Fyah and Norrisman and a whole heap of talent. And tbat bodes well for the future, it would be great to see artists like that and many others working with Midinte. And when it comes to dub - lets hope that some of the great engineers like Solgie, Peter Chemist and even Scientist get a chance to work on some of Midnite rhythms in the future. Every aspect of reggae music as got a link somewhere - and the more links there are - the stronger it is!!!
Midnite/Lion Tribe - Standing Ground -
Wtih so many great albums coming from the Midnite collective its very hard to say if this is the first double - I have a feeling that it is. And what another magnificent work it is. All the great singer/songwriters have an ability to just make what they do seem so easy and Vaughn Benjamin does this time after time. His lyrically skill is on par with Marley and people like I Jah Man Levi who can take the problems of the days and weave them into the fabric of time, because there is nothing new under the sun - so it is written and the truth remains today.
The production is always outstanding - connecting us back to the seventies but also showing what can be done with new ideas. Once again Indian tabla patterns can he heard - but unlike the add on feel when used in dancehall rhythms. This is intergration into reggae rhythms which is very important. Reggae can always handle new ideas. It is after all the most outward looking music on earth - but those ideas need to be worked on. Its like rock guitar most of the time it doesn't work in reggae music, but when someone takes the time to try and work it in - it can be truly magical. This is a another major work - please don't miss it.
Midnite & Desmond Williams - Kayamagan
When the word roots is mentioned - you can go no deeper than than those of Midnite - not sure when they started but this set dates from around the late nineties and as got the same kind of feel of the early Midnite music. Desmond's name is new to me - but its clear that's he's another very important part of the Midnite family which is growing all the time. Sometimes when they work with others its a major shift away from there sound - this is very much the Midnite sound - its got the same production values and the same kind of lyrics - that are intended to make you think. Which of course are the best type of reality songs - culture is something else again and a song of praise is a song of praise - but when it comes to Midnite and Co - its always got an edge.
Midnite - Natural Vibes - Colloration - Maschaana
Truly remarkable - its always a real pleasure to discover that Midnite once again have put out yet anothe classic time and time again they have done it. Its matters not if they work as a band or with others its always the same result. In terms of output they must be one of the prolific reggae bands ever. The Twinkle Brothers released a vast amount of works - but Midnite and Co must have now caught up with them. And yet its not just the quantity - its the quality. Filling up an album of nearly 80 minutes is a serious thing - in fact I have said before you could easily make create yet another work out of one. And if they did that there total tally would be double!!! So what makes this so good - well its its the same excellent production, songs and great roots rhytms. Every song is one kind of reality or cultural work. Natural Vibes hail from Hawaii and there contribution to this work is one that bodes very well for reggae from those set of Islands.
Midnite - Lustre Kings - Infinite Quality -
That title kinda says it all. With all the many and various combinations that make up the Midnite family - the quality is always there! The songs are always very very good and so is the singing of Vaughn Benjamin. In terms of time - and most of the music from Midnite tends to fill up a CD this goes beyond that! Musically there is more sounds from India - unlike the last time Midnite went in this direction these are full rhythms - melodies seemed to work better - but they are good tracks vocally and lyrics which is what you expect. It would be good to see a DVD from the band now - they have so much music - and have played in Europe this year, sadly not the UK . All there cover art is excellent and with that kind of thinking on a DVD it should be fantastic.
Midnite - Bless Go Roun' - Higher Bound
It never made much sense what the likes of Frankie Paul, Sugar Minott and Johnny Osbourne were doing back in the early eighties dancehall explosion. Single after Single, album after album. But then someone said, my old friend the Fencebeater in fact. That as long as it was all good, did it really make any difference!!! It was a very valid point. And of course it applies to very very well to the Midnite band. I don't know how many albums now carry there name - but its a lot, a awful lot. And the quality of all of them is excellent - Vaughn Benjamin is without doubt one of reggae's music greatest songwriters - his lyrics are like some ancient text full of wisdom, and timeless. Rhythhmwise this is reggae music at its very best, full of twists and turns that show the Midnite have a in-depth knowledge of the music - down to it deepest roots. Another fantastic set from a fantastic band.
Midnite - Rastar Calloboration - Better World Rasta
Midnite & Mystic Vision - New 1000
Mystic Vision are the New Mexico chapter of this movement. The last album had touches of hip hop and rap that actually worked. So its great to see another set from this team up. Strangely its more roots that the previous work. In any case its another great album. The US as had some great reggae bands over the years, Jah Malla, Kalabash and the Ark Band are just some that come to mind. Mystic Vision are up there with them in fine style.What makes it even more interesting is that Midnite are standing there with them. It would be like the Wailers teaming up with Jah Malla way back when. It takes the thing up another level. Truly excellent music.
Midnite & Lion Tribe - Suns Of Atom
This I was not prepared for. The music of the Indian Sub-Continent and reggae do work well together to my ears. And the tedious sample driven efforts that have come from Jamaica since Sly thought it would be good fun to try back in 1993, have only convinced me more that its waste of time. However. What if you take traditional reggae rhythms patterns and add tabla's and sitar to them? It works!!!! There was no never no need to change the reggae rhythm, just employ this instruments over them. You also need good songs and great singing of course. But it works, it all works.
Midnite & Groundbreaking - Aneed
In a tradtion that now goes back a few years - Midnite team up with other reggae bands to change the vibes. In every instance so far its produced very interesting results. And this set is no different. - great vocals and harmonies, great songs - great rhythms. All original. I ask again what more could anyone want? Yes reggae in Jamaica is in a bad way years of neglect and exploitation and corruption are finally taking there toll. But sooner or later the dark forces that are holding the music back in Jamaica will be placed into the light. Meanwhile great music is being very close to home. Celebrate that, enjoy it. Reggae is all about roots - well this is one root that as turned into a shoot and is blooming!!!
Midnite - Rule The Time - I Grade
Another fantastic album from Midnite. Not sure what number this is, but we are now into double figures, and does it really matter anyway! It may do, simply because we are back into the problems of the past. A rock band can make a great album - and everyone will start raving about them. No problem with that. But when a reggae band or act - consistently puts out great music - with little or no recognition something is seriously wrong. In the past the band have commented on Dafur and the problems that Black people have in that part of the world. On this set you can hear about therapy abuse - and the experimention done in the name of medical science - drilling holes in people's head. Its all here, and a lot more. Reggae music was always outward looking, it didn't matter if a deejay or a singer wanted to sing about sex, sex and more sex. There was always a good number who wanted to report on the way of the world. Its what made the music what it is - and until we get that balance back in the music - its not going anywhere. Unlike Midnite who are forever going forward>>>
Midnite - Jah Grid - I Grade
And here is another event. The latest release from one of reggae's best bands. In Jamaica last year the roots scene came fully forward again after many years. That is a very good thing, and long overdue. What is hoped is that the great works of this band will now be fully appreciated because this band is the cutting edge of roots reggae . They build great rhythms, new rhythms, and then Vaughn Benjamin starts to add lyrics and vocals - that are as complex as the works of I Jah Man Levi and with the power of someone like Bob Andy. Just a line out of one song can do it. " I have the software, but I don't have the key' Itís a topical message, that so many will relate too, but with ancient meaning. You know he's talking about something else. It just needs a little bit more listening and that is not an hard thing to when you have such a great work at hand.
Midnite & Mystic Vision - Current - Natural Vibes
Different vibes again , and still deep roots, just another root. Still reggae, but something less rhythmic - more melodic. Mystic Vision from New Mexico provide most of these different vibes. Know nothing of them at all - although that means little in itself!!! 'Build Love' feat. Andres Estrada & John Bento in fine style. And 'Seashells' feat. Andres Estrada & Marisol Mirabel is another fine work. Very few bands release two albums at once, and this is not the first time Midnite have done this. This shows that they are reaching people. It could not be done on a whim. Hopefully that success will grow, like they say in reggae - nothing ever happens before its time. And this band, are timeless.
Midnite - Ainshant Maps - Rastafaria
An incredible band! With an output that matches people like Gregory Isaacs and a few other singers from reggae past. Although one album a year is the considered norm, with reggae music its only ever been a guideline. If you have loads of stuff to release and the means to release it, better to release it today than wait. It can lead to confusion, but with everything so consistent from Midnite. Anything on this group of labels out of the Virgin Island is going to be good. The songs are so deep full of passion and reason. The singing of Vaughn Benjamin draws on so many kinds of vocal inspiration that it becomes a challenge to determine them. Some can her the chanting/ranting of Sizzla, other the tones of the Twinkle Brothers - and yet none can deny the originality of the Band. Another great work.
Midnite - Scheme A Things - Rastafaria - CD
Go to the deepest roots in reggae music those that go straight back to Africa, and you will find Midnite. This set pulls together all the various stands that make the band so good. The chanting, the dense rhythms, and most of all the lyrics - that are full of worldview concepts. The sort of messages that have been spoken about in reggae music from time, but with the way the world is today need to be repeated/chanted until the understanding they contain is understood. Just listen to 'Where Are They Now' one of the most powerful messages to come forward from reggae music in years. The Truth Is Out There, are you willing and able to listen to it!!!!
Midnite - Intense Pressure - Rastafaria - CD
The very first dub album from the band, and what a magnificent set it is. The power and majesty of the bass and drum as never sounded so good. This is a set for those who like there dub minimal - not a gimmicks thing. It works it way through a number of great rhythms allowing the bass and drum to come and go, keyboards and guitars come forward in the mix provide melody and then move off into the distance. This is dub at its best, providing light and shade to the foundation of reggae music which of course is bass and drum. With two great releases in one year - will this be the year of Midnite.
Midnite I Grade - Vijan - I Grade
Another very important album from the Virgin Island based band. Midnite at this moment in time are one of the most important reggae bands ever. What is interesting is our they combine the best traditions of Jamaica bands - studio based outfits working on and with a number of producers and labels, like Soul Syndicate, The Roots Radics, Now Generation, in this instance I Grade. And then switching over to an even more tradtional 'Band' role. Like for instance the Wailers, Aswad, Misty In Roots. These bands did do production work - but not on the scale of Midnite! And with all due respect to Soul Syndicate, The Radics and Now Gen - none of these bands had a singer/songwriter like Vaughn Benjamin - who sounds like so many artists - but once you hear him, you know its him, that is the mark of a great talent. Each every one of the 14 tracks on this set show in one way or another the talent of this band from the bass and drum Kenyatta Itola & Dion "Bossie" Hopkins , Tuff Lion on guitars and Eric Williams on keys. A truly forward and excellent set.
Midnite Branch I - Geoman - I Grade Records 2003
Musically the rhythms had a more basic minimal feel - natural, how reggae music should be. Vocally - you could hear the influence of Misty In Roots and Sizzla. Lyrically it was something else again. These are complex lyrics and ideas - but the group want you to hear them - the combination of complex lyrics and minimal rhythms take reggae music to new heights and back to its roots.
Having 'discovered' the band, my enquires about them resulted in a conversation with Theo at the Reggae-Vibes website. He also told me that the band had just released a new album and this is it. 'Geoman' is excellent, on par with 'Rasta Mek Peace' and 'Unpolished' These three albums are all excellent, and there are others.