Defenders Of The Faith
Rastar Records
August 18, 2009

Track list
  1. Midnite - Negus I Rastafari
  2. Black Uhuru - Brand New World
  3. Luciano - Live My Life
  4. Warrior King - Redemption Come
  5. Chezidek - Make It Grow
  6. Natty King - After The War
  7. Richie Spice - Rumors
  8. Lutan Fyah - Long Road
  9. Midnite - Supplication To HIM
  10. Black Uhuru - Scorching Ray
  11. Luciano - Wicked Slavery Days
  12. Warrior King - Spread Som Love
  13. Chezidek - Gonna Make It One Day
  14. Natty King - Blood Shed
  15. Richie Spice - Jokey Jokey
  16. Lutan Fyah - Poor Man Privilege
  17. Midnite - Itiopia
  18. Midnite - Train Filled His Temple
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Essential -Votes: 7-
Very Good -Votes: 4-
Good -Votes: 6-
Average -Votes: 0-
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A Waste Of Time -Votes: 1-

Total votes : 18
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
In these days it doesn't make any sense to concentrate on reggae music produced in Jamaica as producers and artists aren't breaking new ground to treat the reggae aficionado to exciting and innovative efforts like e.g. King Jammy did with digital riddims back in 1985. Since the start of the new millennium there's been a growing interest in reggae music produced in other parts of this planet such as Germany, France, California, and the Virgin Islands. Most European production houses stuck close to production works done in the studios of Kingston, while California's Lustre Kings and VI's I Grade Records, to name only two, were exploring new musical territories for their modern roots reggae output.

Rastar Records -- an independent record label from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, that produces strictly conscious music -- is another example of a production house that tries to go beyond the trodden paths of contemporary Jamaican reggae music. Already out on the label are the "Rastar Riddim" (2007), the Midnite/Rastar Collaboration "Better World Rasta" (2007), "Red Alert Riddim" (2008), Lutan Fyah's "African Be Proud aka Love The Creator" (2009) and the second Midnite/Rastar Collaboration "To Mene" (2009).

Just like their earlier released 'one riddim' sets, the 18-track compilation "Defenders Of The Faith" -- consisting of several of Rastar's riddims released over the past few years along with some of Vaughn Benjamin's own musical arrangements -- features some of the top artists out of the VI and Jamaica. Midnite (or perhaps it's better to say Vaugn Benjamin) opens in great style with the beautiful, nyahbinghi flavored "Negus I Rastafari". It's followed by Duckie Simpson aka Black Uhuru's solid "Brand New World" and Luciano's powerful "The Life I Live" across the full sounding "Rastar" riddim, which also underpins Natty King's killer "Blood Shed". Warrior King's solid"Redemption Come", Chezidek's "Make It Grow", coming on a Black Uhuru-ish riddim, and Natty King's awesome "After The War", complete this very entertaining and great first segment. With furthermore some great tracks from Lutan Fyah ("Long Road" and "Poor Man's Privilege"), Richie Spice ("Jokey Jokey"), Chezidek ("Gonna Make It One Day") and of course the Midnite tracks "Supplication To HIM", "Itiopia" and the wonderful "Train Filled His Temple" it's obvious that this compilation set is worthwhile checking out.