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Ben LaMar Gay
Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun

International Anthem Recording Company ‎

Regular price
$39.00 SGD
Regular price
Sale price
$39.00 SGD


“"Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun" is as much a 'greatest hits' as it is a 'debut album' for Ben LaMar Gay. It's a collection of music composed, performed & produced by the anomalous Southside Chicago-born, sometimes Brazil-residing artist, compiled from 7 albums he made over the last 7 years but never made the effort to actually release. With its title taken from the mantra Ben repeats across several tracks on "Grapes" (1 of the 7 aforementioned albums), "Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun" is our effort to channel the rainbow of sonic expressions, art & poetry beaming from the ark of his unreleased catalogue into a cohesive & communicable compilation. It's as good of an introduction to Ben LaMar Gay as we could fit onto a single LP. To call it "eclectic" would only scratch the surface. This music is everything.” – Bandcamp

His solo debut, Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun, is really a patch-work of seven albums, recorded over seven years but never released. It moves from fuzz-caked weirdo-psych to mutant synth-funk to giddy electronics to progressive jazz at a seamless, whiplash-free warp speed. Shot by Maren Celest and animated with charcoal pencil, "Muhal" connects the historical dots of the Chicago jazz scene by featuring Bronzeville, the neighborhood that housed Fred Anderson's Velvet Lounge. Ben LaMar Gay, born and raised in South Side Chicago, also pays tribute to Muhal Richard Abrams — the late pianist, composer, educator and co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians — by using his song titles as lyrics."Muhal" shuffles and sashays to an insistent beat, with synths and sax dotting exclamation points at at irregular intervals. Like Don Cherry in his early '90s cosmic-jazz-pop mode, it's the kind of groove that shouldn't hit a pocket, but tears a hole in the seams anyhow.” – NPR

Item description:        


Ben LaMar Gay


Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun


International Anthem Recording Company


Vinyl, LP, Compilation



Release Date:

04 May 2018


Electronic, Jazz


Contemporary Jazz, Experimental

Catalog No: