Midnite & Desmond Williams
May 17, 2008

Desmond Williams & Midnite - Kayamagan Track list
  1. Burning Fire
  2. I Chant
  3. Repatriation Song
  4. Scarface
  5. Resilient Race
  6. The Good Life
  7. Reload
  8. Her Clock
  9. The Trixter
  10. Jah I
  11. A Cool Veranda
  12. Unrehearsed
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Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 57-
Very Good -Votes: 8-
Good -Votes: 0-
Average -Votes: 2-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 1-

Total votes : 68
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
The output of full length albums by Midnite (or perhaps it's better to speak of Vaughn Benjamin) is staggering and can easily be compared with one of the most prolific bands in Jamaica's musical history, The Twinkle Brothers, although the latter's extensive discography might have been surpassed by Midnite's list of album releases by now.

Midnite's latest album, entitled "Kayamagan", isn't actually a brand new collection of tunes, but Vaughn Benjamin's first 'collaboration' album. It was recorded in 1999 in Washington DC in between the albums "Unpolished" and "Ras Mek Peace". For this album Midnite teamed up with Desmond Williams, engineer and co-producer of Thievery Corporation, and in 1993 an apprentice of renown engineer Scientist. Together, they did a great deal of experimentation with new digital audio techniques, as well as mixing live events for such artists as Third World, Supercat, Freddie McGregor, etc. In 1995, they co-produced an album for Sugar Minott entitled "International", which was released on RAS Records. In 2000, Desmond Williams created his initial EP, "Theme From A Dream", which was followed by his debut album, "Delights Of The Garden", in 2002.

Despite the fact that this set dates from about a decade ago, all twelve of the tracks featured on "Kayamagan" are of real good quality (with quite a few reaching a high level) and thus a recommended buy for avid Midnite fans, in particular for those who highly rate the band's first crop of albums. Desmond Williams' well crafted rootsy riddims mesh perfectly with Vaughn Benjamin's voice, whilst his insightful lyricism and word play are simply great to hear.

Right from the start it's obvious that Bob Marley must have been one of the main influences of Desmond Williams. It's probably best noticed when listening to the intro of "Scarface", which is strongly reminiscent of Marley's classic "Stir It Up". On other tracks it's more a matter of experiencing the vibes that refer to the works of Bob Marley. And of course the influence of Scientist is also present throughout.

Every track included on this album has its own merit, but definite highlights are the outrageous "I Chant", the aforementioned "Scarface", the wonderful Resilient Race, "The Trixter", the dubby "Jah I", the wicked "A Cool Veranda" and "Unrehearsed". It's a real joy to listen to these, and also the other tracks, as they keep you involved till the very end. All in all a worthy roots reggae album and a very welcome addition to any Midnite collection.