Album info



Label: Mocambo Records

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Nu Jazz


Album including Album cover


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FLAC 88.2 $ 13.20
  • 5THE SOURCE02:30
  • 6CURE THE SICK03:43
  • 9SKY WORLD03:21
  • Total Runtime36:29


Transcendental outernational funk and psychedelic jazz from mystery L.A.- based collective Sun Atlas

Little is known about Sun Atlas. The group members are hidden behind masks and costumes to keep their identities secret and to put the focus entirely on the music and oneness. A sense of community and universal spirit as an alternative to idolization and individualism is heavily reflected in their eclectic musical style.

The sound of Sun Atlas is mystical and cosmopolitan, combining afrobeat, cinematic soul, spiritual & ethio jazz with space sounds, hiphop-breaks and a garage funk vibe.

Their cryptic first 45 single “The Mystic Parade” b/w “Grand Theft” sold out immediately after release and has often been mistaken for either “lost” hiphop samples, 70s habibi funk or another project in disguise from the inner circles of the Mocambo, Big Crown or Daptone families (which it is not).

Return To The Spirit picks up where Sun Atlas’ first single left off, with everyone wondering where the journey might lead. With the door to a colourful universe opened, the full-length format gives time & space for further exploration.


"Little is known about the ensemble that is SUN ATLAS" is the preferred tagline, and it seems they intend to keep it that way, because even in their debut album they seem keen on not even telling us their name, in fact, the mystery seems to grow as their press release states that "The band’s music is a collaborative work between various musicians scattered on different continents" With the obvious takeaway from this being that we shouldn't mind about such details and just enjoy and judge the music for what it is- I'll respect the privacy and vision of SUN ATLAS by just focusing on that, but I will say this: Whoever these musicians are, they're damn good at what they do, probably among the best.

So what exactly is SUN ATLAS' self-titled? It's the soundtrack to every serious and unserious 1970s crime thriller and kung-fu movie ever made and never made alike. The intensely cinematic pace of the album offers a bounty of listening experiences for the appreciative ear that can open up your mind to a myriad of aesthetic and cultural movements that should not be forgotten or abandoned. Are you looking for something to listen to alone in the dark to stimulate your musical IQ? SUN ATLAS. Do you need a new workout soundtrack that is unlike anything anyone's ever worked out to before? SUN ATLAS. Are you, my friend, a righteous bank robber on the run from the coppers? You guessed it pal: SUN ATLAS.

SUN ATLAS is a gritty urban car chase set to free-form jazz. It's a detective mystery shoot-out punctuated by 60s garage rock. It's a strangely over-produced trippy industrial video with acid funk in the background. SUN ATLAS is the Ethiojazz soundtrack of a turkish spy thriller, and the surf-rock vibe that represents Cali surfer dudes ripping up pools in Dogtown like no one has before, changing the history of a sport without even knowing it yet. All of these moments can be yours if you want, they're one play button away.

Ten songs long may not be long enough, and that's where my criticism of the album starts and ends, and even then it may be entirely nit-picky because whatever statements one can glean from this instrumental-only compilation of songs are said very succinctly by SUN ATLAS, and I don't feel like they left anything unsaid; exploring just about every avenue of sound I imagined that they would with, and even a few I did not quite expect, like with the beginning of "Mosquito Song" with its dreamy electronic atmosphere.

Back in 2021 when I was first introduced to the band via their digital re-issue of the previously vinyl-only single "The Grand Theft", I was left with my mouth watering at the prospect of more, and I knew it was coming because this reissue wasn't some random attempt to give new life to an already sold-out vinyl print of a wonderful song, no, this was the true first step in announcing a much longer project that was in the works, one which I didn't actually expect to have in my hands just as soon as I got it, and that was about the only real surprise that I got because I knew from the very first moment that it was simply impossible for SUN ATLAS to disappoint. There was just no universe in which such a solid and radically-unique musical project (compared to what most contemporary artists record, that is) was going to deliver a mediocre album, there was just no way. And I was right.

For the time being, we do not know what this album means in terms of the future of the project. Other than being extremely appreciative that such music can still be made today. Do we lean in to expect a tour? can we hope for more some time in the future? It's all very uncertain, but what I do know is that you should be doing everyone you know a favor by exposing them to SUN ATLAS as soon as you can. Help spread the word around that there's this amazing project out there, making music that perhaps a lot of young people didn't even realize existed or was at all possible in the first place. Go blow some minds after you're done listening to it ten times on repeat.

This album contains no booklet.

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