“Celestial 天上” are a Hong Kong based collective who have produced seven albums of Asian Dub:
“Spirit House”, released 1996, “Happy Valley 快活谷”, 2001, “Hong Kong Dub Station 香港空轉”, 2004, “Electric Road 電器道”, 2007, “Cloud Songs” 2009, “Return To The DubStation 返嗒” released in 2014, and “Retrospect 七重天” released 2016
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Celestial was conceived by Peter Millward, but also feature a host of great musicians from Hong Kong and across Asia. The first Celestial tracks were released in ’92, and although they pre-dated the concept of “chill-out” or “down-tempo” music by several years, the idea for “Celestial” was born: a laid-back mix of Asian sounds over an empyreal electronic dubscape. Pete, who produces, arranges, mixes, plays guitar, bass, melodica, and keyboards, plus programming and various other bits of audio manipulation, is a long time Hong Kong resident, with his musical roots in the Punk and Dub Reggae of the ”70s. Indeed the term “dub” as referred to here, has more in common with masters such as Dennis Bovell (Blackbeard), Lee “Scratch” Perry and Scientist, than with modern Electronica.
Musicians who have been involved in Celestial over the years include; Sunny Yeung – shakuhachi master, Eugene Pao – Asia’s top jazz guitarist, Hsin Hsiao Hung – Hong Kong’s #1 erhu player, Sur Sudha – the musical ambassadors of Nepal, Eddie Chung – also a partner of Drum Music and now producer and deejay with Hong Kong‘s hottest rap group 24 Herberts, plus vocalists Angelita Li, May Chan, Mariella Gonzalez, Adrian Da Silva, Rita Tsang, LiYa, Elaine Liu and many more. Occasional visitors to the Celestial Studio (Hong Kong’s #1 music production house: Drum Music) have included Welsh rapper John Griffiths (of Llwybr Llaethog), Mandarin rapper Antonius Chen, deckmeister DJ Bodhi, percussionist (and Drum’s architect) Johnny Kember and Zheng virtuoso Choy Kit Yee. The most recent album “Return To The DubStation 返嗒” has seen the addition of Kora player Hisaki Yasuda, vocalist Kana Kobayashi and percussionist Kumi Masunaga (of DrumJam) to the lineup. More info and images available here>.
Celestial Influences: Philip Glass, Scott Walker, Massive Attack, Jacque Brel, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Portishead, Jamaican & British Dub & Reggae (King Tubby, Augustus Pablo, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Sly & Robbie, Mad Professor, Scientist, Dennis “Blackbeard” Bovell etc), Frank Sinatra, Cliff Martinez, Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello, Michael Nyman, Thomas Newman, Kazue Takagi, Ryuchi Sakamoto, The Clash, UFO, Debussy, The Chieftains, Tomita, Jimmy Webb, Leon Redbone, Tom Waits, Sawai Tadao, Ennio Morricone, Beck, Wim Mertens, Alec Finn, Nino Rota, David Sylvain, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Chic (Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers), The Beatles, etcetera, etcetera, in no particular order.
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