While there has been an abundance of Midnite Branch I, Midnite/I Grade and
even a dub album released during the past 1½ years, "Scheme
A Things" represents Midnites first studio
album since the release of Seek
Knowledge Before Vengeance in June of 2002.
Released on the Rastafari record label, Scheme A Things offers a
wide variety of musical styles that has something to please each listener. The album is
bookmarked by Words Ov Right and "Where Are They
Now". The opening track, which features Vaughn Benjamin singing and
playing all musical instruments, has a distinctively Midnite Branch I essence to it. This
CD culminates with "Where Are They Now", a nyahbinghi flavored selection that
asks: "Coming from the numerous of the genome, divided of the ages, diaspora
surround. Who are they now? Where are they now?"
Laced in between these two songs are eight more songs that run
the full gamut from the hearticle sounds of "Babylon
Dem Copy" and "Respek Dem Een"
to the big, big sounds on tunes like "Lianess" and "Bazra".
In the summer of 2002, I was blessed to be able to attend Midnite concerts in St.
Louis and Lincoln, Nebraska. Each night, the band played a song that I had never heard of
before. In St. Louis, Vaughn cried out "In the prison of etiquette and protocol, I neva born."
In the dozens of Midnite concerts that I have seen since that time, I never heard that song again,
which manifests itself on this album as "Strongly". Although the melody of this song is a little too soft for my
tastes, this selection is still absolutely crucial for the feelings and memories it evokes
within me every time I hear it.
The first 45 minutes of Midnites musical communion with the people of Lincoln, Nebraska was some of
the finest live music I had ever witnessed in my entire life. They sang a total of five
songs during this time, culminating with "Jah
Feed I" which also appears on "Scheme A Things". This
song has been a personal anthem for me during these past two years. "Couldnt
make a dent inna you stash. Still nah let off no cash. World deliverance fighting back. I
kick up dust inna you face, stay back. Whole heap of stringers partial. You cant
uncheck me, crossover what out. Run go monitor your Dow Jones and your Nasdaq. Bun out
from running in the fast lane jah. Jah Rastafari youre good for I. Provide for I.
Jah Feed I."
Although selections like "Lianess", and "Jahbok Wha Ova
Come" will be considered the boom
selections to most listeners, to me, it is songs like "Bazra" the title track and "Respek
Dem Een" that embody the essence Midnite. "In the
eyes of Jah. Look what them a do. What a cold soul, oh lord. Quote the 23rd
psalm and execute, look what them a do."
In listening to "Scheme
A Things" and the companion album "Ainshant Maps" it is evident that Ron
Benjamin has spent that last 18 months perfecting
the craft of getting the most out of Midnites Afrikan Roots Lab recording studio. The quality of sound on this album, especially the tone
of Phillip Merchants bass lines, are unparalleled in the music industry, which is why
"Scheme A Things" deserves a place in the record collection of roots music lovers
throughout the four corners of the world.