Roots reggae coming at jah all the way from the Virgin Islands, there's no way you won't be feelin' irie..
Midnite : Lead singer Vaughn Benjamin's electrifying voice seems an amalgamation of many great voices in reggae-soulful, chanting, edgy. Vaughn's potent lyrical style and his brother Ron Benjamin's exquisite production, vocals, dub, arrangements, keyboard/bass musical directorship form the nucleus of this musical - rootsy sound, which includes: Christian Molina (drums), Edmund Fieulleteau (guitar), Edwin Byron (guitar) and Ras L (keyboards). Midnite weaves the cultural lyrics of "old school" roots music with modern day experiences to create a unique listening encounter. Roots Reggae - naked and raw is an apt description for Midnite's musical style, in which they forgo the frills of extensive remixes, overdubbing and other musical refinements. "Unpolished" is the title of their debut album which includes such classics as "Don't Move", "Mama Africa", and "Love the Life You Live". Originally released in 1997, while the band was located in Washington, DC. In 1999, Midnite linked up with Wildchild! Records for their second release "Ras Mek Peace". Incredibly, this album was recorded using only two channels and was mastered without any reverb, filtering, compression or equalization. Songs like "Hieroglyphics", in which graffiti is likened to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, showcase the intelligent songwriting that pervades all of Midnite's works. Following the release of Ras Mek Peace, Midnite returned to live in St. Croix so that they could work with the local musicians and make recordings at their African Roots Lab without any outside interference. The fruits of these labours can be found on their third album "Jubilees of Zion", which was released on their independent Afrikan Roots Lab record label. The expansive, hypnotic rhythms continue, alongside the messages of peace, universal brotherhood, and cultural resistance to Babylon. In June 2002, Midnite made their Northern California debut at the 9th Annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. That same month saw the release of Midnite's fourth album "Seek Knowledge Before Vengeance". Released on their Afrikan Roots Lab record label, this album raises the bar of cultural roots reggae, as we know it today. Midnite explodes in live performances with sets that often exceed 3 hours. Their vigorous, weighty sound, driven by the punchy bass lines creates a vibe that penetrates straight to the heart. These epic musical communions have earned Midnite an enormous following throughout the roots community. By breaking all the rules, Midnite is setting a new standard. Armed with a firm foundation in Jah Rastafari, their natural talents, and a strong and uncompromising musical vision, Midnite champions a unique sound that is on the cutting edge of modern roots music.
Blaze Mob: Shaka Rock, the oldest of the threes sons of Reggae Classic-Garth Dennis, says “We make it cool to be conscious”. Gyasi Gong and King Saeed complete the trinity that is known as Blaze Mob. They have created a unique sound that is aptly described as World Beat Reggae. Shaka Rock on the bass, Gyasi Gong on the drums and King Saeed on the keyboards stand solid’s as Blaze Mob.
Garth Dennis former member of 2 legendary Jamaican groups, Black Uhuru and Wailing Souls brought home instruments from years of touring & natural synthesis occurred. Blaze Mob put the instruments to good use at a very young age and became self-taught musician. Gyasi Gong says “We are here to give the world a new sound.” A new sound indeed from 1st CD called “More Consciousness”. It features songs such as “Big and Bold”, “Let me know”, and the cultivating culturally inspiring song “Marcus Garvey.” Their harmonizing is in-sync ever so eloquently on the track “Can’t get away,” which is reminiscent of an R&B tune with soulful melodies. Rasta loving is represented with a splendid head-bopping groove called “Kick back.” The title track “More Consciousness” is the winner with the lyrics and composition, all this and more from the 16 track album that is full of their life experiences, exciting musical potential and pure vibes.
This comes as no surprise as their heritage shows and tells in their music. Emerging from 19 Third Street in Trench Town J.A, their grandmother’s yard was a popular rehearsal spot, for the young Wailers-Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and many other reggae icons. Their uncle was the talented Musical Director and Producer, Joe Higgs the Godfather of Reggae. Their artistic heritage was set, to seal their fate in Reggae History.
Garth Dennis recorded one of their songs on the 1994 Black Uhuru Grammy nominated CD “Strongg”, they were 11, 9 & 8 year old. The song was entitled “Eye Of an Angel”. This afforded Blaze Mob membership as writers with A.S.C.A.P. They have continued to write and compose all their material. Blaze Mob is currently working on thier sophomore 16 track CD that exudes a cross-pollinated L.A./Kingston style that draws from both Jamaican roots and the Hollywood “fast lane”. The tracks with Jamaican songstress Etana titled ‘Revolution’, and ‘Black Heart Soul Man’ co-produce with Ashton Barrett, son of Family man of the Wailers reflects their commitment to Jamaican roots. The creative cover of Bob Marley’s ‘I Shot the Sheriff’, clearly represent the Dancehall influence.
Blaze Mob music is a cultural representation of their rich Jamaican heritage.
And so the saga continues…………