This, the first album from Celestial, was the introduction to Celestial’s reflection of an east-west consciousness; an ethereal, trance-like soundtrack to a hip urban zen garden. First released by MCA (now Universal Music) in 1996, the album also reflects the pre-1997 cosmopolitan turmoil that was Hong Kong. It went gold in Singapore, and has now been re-released with a new sleeve design.
“Spirit House” draws on many diverse influences – Chinese, Vietnamese and Nepalese folk melodies, the sounds of Asian orchestras and the rhythms of metropolitan dance floors. drawing on the talents of musicians such as Hsin Hsiao Hung, Hong Kong’s #1 erhu(chinese violin) player, Nepalese classical trio Sur Sudha, and world renowned jazz guitarist Eugene Pao, to name but a few. The music is a collage of many different styles: a sampled `70’s funk groove loops beneath a timeless erhu folk melody underscored by ultra modern digital synth architecture; a 1930’s shanghai song segues into a Kathmandu raga; sampled voice bytes from today’s news broadcasts compete with dialogue from 1940’s movies and a floating jazz guitar, an Irish folk melody is played on a traditional chinese zheng, with `80’s analog synths and dub echo effects bubbling underneath; sound effects of trains, helicopters, bicycles, fade in and out of the ever present hypnotic, trance like rhythms…
Download the sleeve here.