Ras Mek Peace (Wildchild!)
Jubilees Of Zion (Midnite Roots)
Between the years of 1997 and 2001, Midnite - a crucial roots reggae
band from St. Croix - has released three outstanding CDs; the debut "Unpolished"
as well as "Ras Mek Peace" and "Jubilees Of Zion."
This is the way, to these ears anyway, reggae is supposed to sound. Offbeat rhythms,
choppy guitars, crucial lyrics and outstanding musicianship is all over these three releases.
Midnite is currently comprised of five extremely talented musicians: the Brothers Benjamin, Vaughn (lead vocals) and Ron (keyboards), as well as Phillip Merchant on bass, Dion Hopkins on drums and Ras Abijah
Unpolished was the band's first release in 1997. With 10 tracks and just under 54 minutes of crucial tunes this disc unleashes Vaughn's intense vocal delivery
and conscious lyrics for all of the world to hear. Starting off with the slow skank of "Bushman," it rolls through such classics as "Love The Life You Live," "Propoganda," "Kaaba Stone," "Meditation,"
"Mama Africa" and "Due Reward."
"Unpolished" is as good a debut as you'll ever hear...
To hear a real audio stream of "Unpolished"...UNPOLISHED
Two years later, in 1999, the band took a chance and released a CD recorded
at Mapleshade studios in Maryland. "Ras Mek Peace" was subtitled "Before Reverb And Without Delay," hinting at the bare recording style
they used. In fact, they only used two tracks, utilizing one for vocals and the other for the musicianship.
Starting off with the cleverly-titled "Pagan, Pay Gone,"
this release has over 67 minutes of the rootsiest reggae you'll ever hear.
Killers like "Hieroglyphics," "Lion Wears The Crown," "Love Right (Live Right)" and "Rasta Man Stand" make this a truly incredible sophomore effort.
These first two releases also blessed us with lyric sheets, and to see what Vaughn is truly saying is incredible. He's one of the best lyricists you'll ever find.
To hear a real audio stream of "Ras Mek Peace"...RAS MEK PEACE
For their 3rd release, "Jubilees Of Zion," they moved from the East Coast back to their homeland of St. Croix and recorded its entirety at the Afrikan Roots Lab studio.
This late 2000 release continues their incredible pace to show the world that they are truly one of the best bands on the scene today.
Starting off with the title track, the 63 minutes included on this outstanding disc include such killers as "Birthright Is The Ticket," "Great Zimbabwe Walls,"
"Ras To The Bone," "Batter Ram Sound" and the nyabhinghi closing track, entitled "One." Bottom line, this is just another killer release.
Although there is no lyric sheet to this disc, I've been told that they are in the process of re-releasing it with lyrics...
To hear a real audio stream of "Jubilees Of Zion"...JUBILEES OF ZION
At the current time, Midnite is the hottest band on the planet. These 3 releases, as well as the new one, "Seek Knowledge Before Vengeance," are
truly superb and have an incredible modern roots sound. Do yourself a favor and pick up these discs. They will absolutely blow you away.
To hear a real audio stream of "Seek Knowledge Before Vengeance"...SKBV
I'd like to thank Daniel Franston for allowing the real audio streams...
For my review of "Seek Knowledge Before Vengeance"...SKBV
For Midnite's home page...MIDNITE
For my review of "Assini," Midnite's incredible collaboration with I Grade Records...ASSINI
For more Midnite, check out... MIDNITE on IREGGAE
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