Album-Review: Midnite - Treasure
Rastar Records and Midnite have teamed-up once again for the release of Treasure, their fifth collaborative effort to date. The 15 tracks contained on this CD contain a nice mixture of one drop and roots riddims, some alternative beats along with several nyahbinghi infused selections and a few acoustic tracks thrown in for good measure.
Rastar Records is the brainchild of Nicole and G. "Ital" Bonitto whose productions first surfaced in 2007 with the release of the (aptly named) Rastar Riddim compilation, the first one-riddim album to combine some of Jamaica's more popular singers (Luciano, Lutan Fyah, Jah Mason, Yami Bolo) with voices from the Virgin Islands (Army, Ras Attitude, Niyorah, Midnite). The Midnite selection from that compilation, "Gi Dem", was also included on the first Midnite/Rastar Collaboration Better World Rasta. Released towards the end of 2007, this CD contained several songs in which Ital overdubs several riddims originally contained on Black Uhuru's "Brutal" album of the mid-80s.
In 2008, Rastar Records and Midnite collaborated on their second full-length release "Supplication to H.I.M.", which continued the roots oriented sounds from their initial alliance. This project was followed up with two Midnite/Rastar partnerships in 2009: "To Mene" and "Inna Now", both of which (especially To Mene) were heavily ladened with alternative riddims.
On their latest release, the team of Rastar Records and Midnite return to the more rootsy/one-drop style of music characterized by their first two collaborations with selections like Negus Is Peace, Rastafari Now, Rastar and Gather Them In. And the song Humble Man is a strong relick of Black Uhuru's Conviction Or A Fine, so it's no surprise to learn that G. "Ital" Bonitto is Duckie Simpson's nephew. The album also contains several acoustically styled tracks (How To Answa, Patience and Wise Mind) along with a songs injected with a Nyahbinghi rhythm such as Youth Ope Ya, Got Heat and this listeners personal favorite tune from the CD Scientist Black. The vocals for this album were recorded in St. Croix last year and the album was mixed at Rastar Records and Uhuru Boys Recording Studio in Florida.
Though titled a Midnite/Rastar collaboration, it is potent lyrical style of Midnite's Vaughn Benjamin coupled with his soulful edgy chants that gives Treasure the Midnite vibes. In addition to lending his voice and melodies to this release, Vaughn can also be heard beating the kette drum on several selections joined on percussions by Jamaica's own Bongo Herman. This album also features the guitar of Midnite's Edmund Fiellateau as well as bass from Ras L.
Scheduled for release on January 25, 2011, and to be distributed by VP Records, Treasure is a truly blessed work from Rastar Records that has something to offer all reggae lovers.
Midnite - Treasure
Release date: 1/25/2011
02. Negus Is Peace
03. Yield Turn Out
04. Rastafari Now
06. Know The Ropes
08. Gather Them In
09. Humble Man
10. How To Answa
11. Scientist Black
12. Youth Ope Ya
14. Got Heat
15. Wise Mind