Midnite (band)

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Midnite
Midnite-URF.jpg
Background information
Origin St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Genres Reggae
Years active 1989 (1989)–present
Labels Rastafaria, I-Grade
Website www.midniteband.com
Members Vaughn Benjamin
Ron Benjamin
Christian Molina
Edmund Fieulleteau
Edwin Byron
Ras L
Past members Ambrose "Amby" Connor

Midnite is a roots reggae band from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, which has been playing since 1989.[1]

The band's music follows in tradition with the roots reggae bands of 1970s Jamaica. The lyrical portions of Midnite's compositions are characterized as the "chant and call" style which gives their music a spiritually intense and an overtly Rastafari movement feel. The lyrics are centrally focused on the plights of the oppressed, the inherent faults of the current political, economic and social settings on a global scale, and the redemption available to mankind through a life dedicated to Jah.

History[edit]

The band was started by Benjamin brothers Vaughn (vocals) and Ron (keyboard, but later switched to bass) circa 1989 according to an interview with former Midnite drummer Ambrose "Amby" Connor by Midnight Raver.[2] The brothers were raised in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, the sons of Antiguan musician Ronnie Benjamin, Sr. Vaughn Benjamin cites Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, The Abyssinians, and bassist Flabba Holt as his earliest influences.[3]

"Bob Marley has had a big impact. And the drum and the bass from like Flabba Holt. Sometimes I listen to the bass man alone or the drummer alone."[4]

They recorded Ras Mek Peace (Before Reverb and Without Delay) while living in Washington, D.C. during the mid-90s, and it was released in November 1999.[5] The album was named so, because it was reportedly recorded live in one room, straight to two-track analog tape. It was mastered without the use of compression or corrective equalization. [6] Later, they returned home to St. Croix in the late '90s to play with local musicians and record at their music studio, African Roots Lab.

Midnite frequently collaborates with new artists and has played as the back-up band on a number of African Roots Lab artists' releases, such as Dezarie's Fya and Gracious Mama Africa and Ikahba's Trodding to Zion.

In September 2011, Midnite released their first professionally produced music video for their song "Mongst I&I".[7] The video features members of the band in casual settings and depicts the Rastafarian culture in Frederiksted, United States Virgin Islands (referred to as "Freedom City," St. Croix), and Kingston, Jamaica.

Singer Vaughn Benjamin featured on Tribal Seeds' 2014 album Representing.[8]

The band was featured in the 2014 documentary film Escape To St Croix.[9]

Discography[edit]

  • 1997 - Unpolished
  • 1999 - Ras Mek Peace
  • 2002 - Jubilees Of Zion
  • 2002 - Seek Knowledge Before Vengeance
  • 2003 - Intense Pressure (dub)
  • 2004 - Scheme A Things
  • 2004 - Ainshant Maps
  • 2008 - Live 94117
  • 2010 - What Makes A King ?
  • 2011 - Anthology
  • 2013 - Lion Out Of Zion

Midnite & I Grade collaboration

  • 2001 - Nemozian Rasta
  • 2002 - Assini
  • 2003 - Vijan
  • 2004 - Let Live
  • 2006 - Jah Grid
  • 2007 - Rule The Time
  • 2011 - Kings Bell
  • 2014 - Beauty For Ashes
  • 2014 - Ride Tru

Midnite & Branch I collaboration

  • 2003 - Cipheraw
  • 2003 - Geoman
  • 2003 - He Is Jah
  • 2004 - Project III

Midnite & Mystic Vision collaboration

  • 2006 - Current
  • 2006 - New 1000

Midnite & Ras L collaboration

  • 2004 - Full Cup
  • 2006 - Thru & True

Midnite & Groundbreaking collaboration

  • 2007 - Aneed

Midnite & Lion Tribe/Fifthson collaboration

  • 2007 - Suns Of Atom
  • 2008 - Standing Ground
  • 2010 - Momentum
  • 2011 - Standing Ground Dub
  • 2012 - In Awe
  • 2013 - Be Strong

Midnite & Desmond Williams collaboration

  • 2008 - Kayamagan

Midnite & Rastar collaboration

  • 2007 - Better World Rasta
  • 2008 - Supplication To H.I.M.
  • 2009 - To Mene
  • 2009 - Ina Now
  • 2011 - Treasure
  • 2011 - The Way
  • 2012 - Children Of Jah
  • 2013 - Children Of Jah Dubs
  • 2014 - Better World Rasta Live Dubs

Midnite & Higher Bound Prod collaboration

  • 2007 - Bless Go Roun
  • 2010 - Ark A Law (Lion I)
  • 2013 - Free Indeed

Midnite & Iaahden Sounds collaboration

  • 2014 - Stand The Test

Midnite & Lustre Kings collaboration

  • 2007 - Infinite Quality
  • 2008 - Infinite Dub

Midnite & Natural Vibes collaboration

  • 2008 - Maschaana

Midnite & Youssoupha Sidibe collaboration

  • 2008 - For All

Midnite & Various artists collaboration

  • 2002 - Weep Not
  • 2008 - New Name
  • 2008 - Gather The Remnant
  • 2009 - Defender Of The Faith
  • 2009 - Kings Of Kush
  • 2009 - Frontline Souljah

References[edit]

  1. ^ The British Virgin Islands: Frommer's ShortCuts 2011 "Reggae bands, such as Midnite and Inner Visions have found renewed popularity, although they've been around since the '80s. Midnite Intense Pressure, Midnite's debut album, firmly established them as a force in roots music; the group .."
  2. ^ "Midnite: In The Belly of the Beast". http://midnightraverblog.com. Midnight Raver. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Midnite: In The Belly of the Beast". http://midnightraverblog.com. Midnight Raver. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Raver, Midnight. "Midnite: In the Belly of the Beast". Midnight Raver. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Midnite Ras Mek peace", CMJ New Music Report, December 20, 1999, p. 29. Retrieved December 26, 2014
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Press Release, Jamaicans.com
  8. ^ "Best Bets: Reggae group 'Tribal Seeds' at Wild Buffalo", Bellingham Herald, April 11, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014
  9. ^ Campbell, Howard (2014) "Docu-flick on St Croix's reggae scene", Jamaica Observer, September 5, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014

External links[edit]