Chicago-based musician Ben LaMar Gay has been at the forefront of some of the most exciting and experimental music coming out of the city in a while. Albums like Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun are incredible with their synth-heavy jazzy compositions that take inspiration from house music.
On his newest release East of the Ryan, the talented musician has released a deeply textured and intriguing album that imagines the sounds that might be coming out of a hotel ballroom near his childhood home on the Southside of Chicago. The deeply moving 6 track project features some incredible compositions that are heavy in bass, electronic effects and off-kilter percussive compositions that are just crazy. “Dipped” features an incredibly funky bassline that’s complemented by a woozy, synth-driven melody as well as vocal melodies throughout. “I Ain’t Never Seen’t No…” and “Pink, Green and Gators” feature some weird, almost psychedelic compositions with percussive elements, electronic synths that bring a heavy tone to the records. “Whuss De Matter Baaby? Look At Me” features more of a melody and beat, driven by percussion and brass instrumentation throughout. “They Done Left You” is a brass-heavy, experimental composition with dense instrumentation that sounds tribal and maddening, while “Go And Get You A Plate. Try My Greens” starts off with the sound of bells, eventually breaking free into this electronic, House inspired composition that sounds meditative. Overall, this is one of the more unique albums I’ve listened to this year as Ben LaMar Gay outdoes himself musically with a wild, interesting and captivating album.
Listen to Ben LaMar Gay’s new album East of the Ryan below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support! Released via International Anthem.