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Midnite - Scheme A Things Midnite

Review

Scheme A Things

Real Audio Stream

Rastafaria

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Artist's Web Site

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All songs written and produced by Midnite
Recorded and Engineered  at Afrikan Roots Lab

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Midnite Musicians:
Vaughn Benjamin: Vocals, Percussion
Abijah Hicks: Guitar
Phillip Merchant - Bass
Dion Hopkins - Drums
Ron Benjamin - Keyboards, Guitar, Percussion, background vocals

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Track List:
  1. Words Ov Right
  2. Scheme A Things
  3. Lianess
  4. Bazra
  5. Jahbok Wha Ova Come
  6. Babylon Dem Copy
  7. Respek Dem Een
  8. Jah Feed I
  9. Strongly
  10. Where Are They Now
Review:

While there has been an abundance of Midnite Branch I, Midnite/I Grade and even a dub album released during the past 1 years, "Scheme A Things" represents Midnite’s 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 Midnite’s 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. "Couldn’t 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 can’t 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 you’re 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 Midnite’s Afrikan Roots Lab recording studio. The quality of sound on this album, especially the tone of Phillip Merchant’s 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.

Daniel (RAW#495)
Ireggae.com

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