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Cryptic, prolific, and free-flowing, the roots reggae band known as Midnite are a hard nut to crack, but for many, it’s well worth it. Their rabid fan base will find their 2011 release Treasure is just what it says on the cover, which in turn makes a fine introduction for newcomers too, especially since this Misty in Roots-styled band doesn’t deliver the kind of simple, singalong reggae that makes compiling “best-ofs” easy. Think shamanistic vocals over wandering dub and you’ve got the general picture. Here, key track “Rastafari Now” is about as accessible it gets, easy skanking and slowly rolling as leader and vocalist Vaughn Benjamin does free association with history’s atrocities, calling out demons and villains like Hitler and Mussolini. Any more explanation would take a rather large essay, which is precisely the magic of Benjamin’s songwriting, as he packs some incredibly big ideas into songs that are small and humble. Dig this one and you’ve got some 30 other albums to devour, since Midnite average about four releases per year. Treasure stands among their best and is an easy indicator of whether your mystic reggae appetite is ravenous enough for this enigmatic act.

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