The Circling Sun - Spirits

The Circling Sun - Spirits

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Release Date 26/01/2024
Format LP
Label Soundway
Catalogue Number SNDWLP169

Following heavy radio play, New Zealand collective The Circling Sun releases the Spirits LP in a standard sleeve, following the initial limited edition run which few off the shelves.

Channelling spiritual/modal jazz and Latin rhythms, they simultaneously reference the greats such as Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane, while maintaining a fresh perspective on ensemble dynamics.

Perhaps the group's name is no coincidence - each instrument seems to be in orbit around the concept of symbiotic synergy - and everyone is given equal space to shine; from a psychedelic Korg, to a delirious saxophone or the gentle ripples of a harp. There's a huge array of keyboards, skilfully manned by the likes of Guy Harrison and Cory Champion (Clear Path Ensemble), with a standout acoustic piano solo by Harrison on "Plume". Not to be outshone, the wind section delivers ecstatic saxophone riffs , futtering flutes and solid horn choruses throughout. Meanwhile, providing vital foundational support are the percussion (Soundway alumnus Julien Dyne), vibraphone, acoustic bass and full choir arranged by Matt Hunter.

It's a testament to their harmonious relationship and skill that this debut album instantly sounds like a classic from a group that might have been together a decade. 

"Name checking Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane, The Circling Sun is collective murderer's row of New Zealand jazz luminaries crafting modal/spiritual jazz." Aquarium Drunkard "The vocal, trilling flute lines, the afro-cuban piano stabs, those scuttling rhythms, sci -f synths, the choral highs and sighs, all blend to give 'Kohan' a cosmic jazz to high pop fluidity." Backseat Mafia

"Brilliant from start to finish, Spirits is an impressive debut and will certainly haveyou on an astral trip through the cosmos. Definitely a strong candidate for record of the year!" Beat Caffeine


1. Bones
2. Kohan
3. Veneer
4. Spirits Part 2
5. Bliss
6. Plume