Celestial 天上 | Return to the Dubstation 返嗒

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Electronic: Dub World: Asian- East Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Return to the Dubstation 返嗒

by Celestial 天上

A spacey mixture of Asian Dub, traditional tones and ethereal vocals, all floating over laid-back dubbed up beats - the sixth album from this Hong Kong collective is also a return to their roots and the sounds that got them excited at the outset.
Genre: Electronic: Dub
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Return to the Dubstation 返嗒
0:54 $0.99
2. Kulanjan Dub
5:41 $0.99
3. Cang Ding Dub
4:25 $0.99
4. Beautiful Day Dub
3:58 $0.99
5. Plum Crazy Dub
4:07 $0.99
6. Miniamba Dub
4:12 $0.99
7. Empty Chair Dub
4:45 $0.99
8. Mika's Dub
3:59 $0.99
9. Ghost Dub
5:49 $0.99
10. Insomniac Dub
3:58 $0.99
11. Trans-Mongolian Dub
4:48 $0.99
12. Magic Dub
4:43 $0.99
13. San An 產安
6:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"I just felt an irrational longing for the twangy spring reverbs and deep space phased echoes of my youth" says the driving force behind the group, Peter Millward.

"These days the technology just doesn't excite any more - so what better direction to go for inspiration than backwards? Back to the Future!"

The album features a combination of brand new compositions, and previous Celestial tracks that have been re-recorded in full Dubly. Many of the usual collaborators are here again: Hsin Hsiao Hung on Erhu, Eugene Pao on guitar; Sunny Yeung on Shakuhachi; Nigel Wightman on Trombone; Adrian Da Silva, May Chan and Ela R. Alegre on vocals; plus new contributors - Japanese fine artist Hisaki Yasuda provides Kora, the African Harp, with his compatriot and friend Kana Kobayashi on vocals; plus from Germany, the poignant chromatic harmonica of Jens Bunge; and the beating heart of Hong Kong DrumJam, Kumi Masunaga, on percussion.

The sleeve has screen-printed by hand somewhere in a decaying street market by our good friends at ChinaStylus.com, and, like the music, it is also heavily influenced by the brash punk/dub ethos of the late '70s - as a reflection of that, it is LP size, i.e. 12" x 12" - and good enough to hang on your wall.



to write a review

Bert Young

Dub with depth
Saw Celestial at Clockenflap 2014 in Hong Kong - fantastic - and this album has it all: the dub sounds and spacey-ness, plus enough depth and interest to stand repeated listenings. Love it!

Chris Kyme

Nice return to form
You can’t listen to a dub album the way you do normal music. A good dub album is an ambient, echo-driven journey, best savoured whilst sat back and relaxed with a stimulant of your choice, or while rocking gently from side to side in a dark, crowded room via a sound-system where the speakers are bigger than the people occupying the premises. Deep, dark bass rumblings with mechanical crashes softened by floating vocals drifting in and out. If you’ve ever enjoyed an evening in the company of the music of Lee Perry, Augustus Pablo, Mad Professor or Scientist, you’ll get my drift. You don’t go looking for a song, it’s an experience.
The genre has been a major influence on a lot of UK musical creativity, from everyone such as The Clash to artists like Portishead, Massive Attack, Jah Wobble and Leftfield. Dub weaves in an around our consciousness in more ways than we know, spawning sub-genres (it being a sub-genre of reggae itself) like trip-hop and dubstep.
But a dub journey on the hands of Pete Millward, musical maestro behind the Celestial series of albums, takes on new and unusual twists and turns, as he weaves in the Asian flavours which have been the Celestial trademark. It’s as if a bunch of musicians from Mongolia wandered into a studio in downtown Kingston, smoked a few spliffs and got down with the homeboys.
Starting with the beautiful, haunting Kulanjan Dub (every track is a dub track here…true to dub tradition) with its silken Asian vocals (Japanese?), little jabbing bursts of horns and soft bass, you almost feel like getting down to a good yoga session to this.
Cang Ding dub (very curious to know where the names came from Pete) is where Mad Professor meets the classic Celestial favourite Erhu sound…an extremely original blend, like Pu’er tea served up with some Jamaican patties. Beautiful Day dub is just that, especially as I was listening to it with a clear blue sky and sunshine and I think if it had been pissing down with rain I might have taken to it differently. Here the lovely traditional dub harmonica sound is complemented by some gorgeous jazzy guitar work (Eugene Pao I believe) and a soft enchanting chorus. Definitely summer junk music with a chilled glass of your favourite white.
From there the journey continues, with various dub-wise version excursions, all in a similar vein. But Empty Chair dub is a more vocal experience, itself being a soulful heartfelt plea for some lost love, with the music stepping (dubstepping?) back into a supporting role. Lovely song in other words. Mika’s Dub, Ghost Dub, you sit back and enjoy the ride feeling all dubbed up by this musical potpourri of East meets…er..West London (okay well Portobello Rd then) which really represents classic dub given a classical Asian makeover in a style which is unmistakably Celestial. Only the last track, San An, takes us into slightly different territory with its spiritual pipes. As if the train has stopped in the middle of nowhere to let us have a look at some mountains and reflect on life for a bit.
All in all it’s a very original, laid-back journey that deserves exploring for dub-enthusiasts and Celestial aficionados alike.


很棒的一张碟子,开头的demo就很喜欢,风格和之前的不同,算是对Spirit House的补充。也是非常偶然的机会从sleepdogs中听到Celestial的音乐,最后找到了这里,thanks for CDBABY让我如愿买到了所有Celestial的音乐:)