ORCHESTRA OF SPHERES
Orchestra of Spheres is a wide-ranging collective from Wellington, New Zealand whose music is a hybrid of global sounds and cultures, from disco and electro to kuduro and mbalax, from neo-psych to no wave, from kosmiche to prog, on instruments both formal and homemade.
The group’s members adopt outlandish pseudonyms and don equally far-out costumes, and their performances and recordings consist of communal love jams and peaceful, playful dance mantras. Making their full-length debut with ‘Nonagonic Now’ in 2010, the Orchestra continued to shift styles and group members on subsequent releases, including 2016’s ‘Brothers and Sisters of the Black Lagoon’ and 2018’s ‘Mirror’.
The group formed in the early, heady days of Wellington’s artist collective, the Frederick Street Sound and Light Exploration Society, in 2009. Early members included Baba Rossa (biscuit-tin guitar and sexomouse marimba), Zye Sosceles (electric carillon), Jemi Hemi Mandala (drums), and Mos Iocoss (keyboards and gamelan).
Their self-released debut EP, ‘Space Art Music’, appeared that same year, followed by the full-length ‘Nonagonic Now’ in 2010. ‘The Bad Spheres’ single appeared in March of 2011, and the ‘Numbers‘ EP in June. Meanwhile, the U.K.’s Fire Records signed the group and re-released ‘Nonagonic Now’ later in the year. An intense and prolonged period of touring and recording ensued, during which time EtonalE joined on bass carillon and percussion. Fire released ‘Vibration Animal Sex Brain Music’ in December of 2013.
The group returned with its third album, ‘Brothers and Sisters of the Black Lagoon’, in 2016. The album introduced featured drumming by Tooth, and Woild Boin also mixed and contributed to the recording. Along with percussionist Farmerboy and several guest musicians, Orchestra of Spheres recorded their fourth full-length, ‘Mirror’, and Fire released it in 2018.
(Thom Jurek, AMG)
“Part Sun Ra otherworldiness, part Sublime Frequencies and part ESG … Orchestra of Spheres blew us away. I’ve seen them several times since that first gig and the magic only intensifies each time.”Dan Snaith, Caribou