Jah Grid
I Grade Records
April 10, 2006

Track list
  1. Enter
  2. In Tent
  3. My Joy
  4. Kin Dread
  5. Under Management
  6. Spin Doctor
  7. Royal Habits
  8. The Bringers
  9. YHWH
  10. Before I Lose My Strength
  11. High Place
  12. Third Eye by Jah Rubal
  13. On
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
"Jah Grid" is the fifth Midnite-I Grade collaboration release, another addition to Midnite's growing catalogue which meanwhile comprises almost twenty full length albums! Indeed... a remarkable (and also astonishing) amount of album releases from a modern roots reggae band, which was started by brothers Vaughn and Ron Benjamin, and has been playing since 1989.

With "Jah Grid" Midnite and the I Grade crew deliver a worthy follow up to their early 2005 released "Let Live" album. It's even the best and most balanced collection of tunes we've heard from the Midnite-I Grade collaboration so far. This brand new set features all live instrumentation, heavy roots throughout -- no programming or hip hop production, just pure roots. Midnite continues to deliver noteworthy, albeit not easy accessible, roots music. But to us this is Midnite's strength, because they have developed a very distinctive musical style which sets them apart from their contemporaries, who predominantly rely on recycling old riddims and often lack creativity -- musically and lyrically spoken. Every time we take time to listen to Midnite's music, we discover new and interesting sounds in the musical backing. On the other hand it's always a joy to listen to Vaughn Benjamin's insightful lyrics which are delivered in a mesmerizing vocal style. In his lyrics singer/songwriter Vaugh Benjamin focuses 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.

On "Jah Grid" Benjamin's writing and singing is in top form as always and reaching ever new heights (and depths) of lyrical content and melodic form. The riddims, all fresh originals, are well laid, groovy and truly worth of hearing. Check out tunes like for example "Enter" and "In Tent" to hear awesome b lines. Throughout this album the listener is treated to rootical sounds ("Before I Lose My Strength", "Under Management" and "High Place"), jazzy meditations ("The Bringers" and "Spin Doctor") and funky grooves ("In Tent" and "My Joy"). Our personal favorites are "In Tent", "My Joy", "Under Management", "Spin Doctor" and "Before I Lose My Strength".

Production is by I Grade (Laurent "Tippy" Alfred & Kenyatta Itola), Vaughn Benjamin and Blackfoot (Gregory Jackson & Astor Campbell).