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Midnite - Kings Bell

Midnite - Kings Bell

Midnite - Kings Bell

By on - 2 comments

Midnite's most accessible yet.


I must admit I haven’t listened to VI-reggae trailblazers Midnite much at all. They came to my attention only a couple of years ago, even though they have been around since 1989 and dropped their debut album 'Unpolished' 14 years ago.

Maybe their vast production has been some kind of barrier. If you didn’t know – Midnite drops an average of around five albums each year. I have found 45 albums with their name on it. And that doesn’t include singer Vaughn Benjamin’s solo efforts.

Midnite - Kings Bell'Kings Bell' is the title of Midnite’s fifth album in 2011. It’s their first full-length with a Jamaican producer, and it’s mostly recorded at Tuff Gong Studios in Jamaica with several acclaimed veteran musicians – Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace and Earl “Chinna” Smith to name a few.

Producer Andrew “Bassie” Campbell has made Midnite more accessible than I have ever heard before. It’s still the same raw, hypnotic and weighty sound that Midnite is known for. And they’re still not flirting with the listener. The sing-a-long choruses and grand harmonies are still nowhere to be found. Midnite do their thing whether you like it or not.

But the sound is fuller and the melodic hooks are very much present.

The punchy bass lines are as usual also included just as Vaughn Benjamin’s intensive and rugged chanting style of singing. He sings with honesty and sincerity about religion and social injustice.

'Kings Bell' is perhaps also Midnite’s most varied set yet – the ska-tinged Torpedo and the percussion driven The Quickening are the two most telling examples, although not the crucial moments of the album.

Instead the highlights include Earth is the Lords with its relentless bass line that made my kitchen utensils shake and Black Mamba and Jewel inna Africa Horn with their memorable guitar licks.

I’m not sure whether this album will rocket the charts, but it certainly made me discover a new side of this individual band.

'Kings Bell' hits the streets on November 1st on CD and digital download.

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Read comments (2)

Posted by Jayhawk on 11.14.2011
Boom saahklaka boom boom, problem solved.

Posted by somebody on 12.24.2012
I am really upset from the way you allow yourself to talk about band like Midnite! You have no right to say anything about their unique style not to mention that you talk about sing-a-long choruses?? Yuh maad play some UB 40 then.... Midnite is the highest level of roots reggae and nobody is deeper than dem! Not only now but EVER! United Reggae is read from many people all over you should spread all the Midnite music you can not only some sweet tunes with good hooks... Think bout it ! An SHAME ON YOU !

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