The fifth album from this Hong Kong collective represents a departure from the mainly instrumental approach of the previous four Celestial collections, because, as suggested by the title, all of the tracks are songs, featuring an array of different vocalists.
It is also a double album, though it'll be priced closer to a single CD.
The first disc comprises all new recordings, though several of the tracks have roots in older material. The songs explore the themes of emotional climate change, the warming and cooling of the heart, discovery, desolation, rebirth and revelation.
The second disc is a retrospective selection of songs previously recorded or produced by Celestial, all re-recorded, re-arranged or re-mixed. The collection revisits all four previous Celestial albums as well as "Songs For Suicidal Lovers", the debut release from London-based singer Shamus Dark, which was also a Celestial production.
Influences spring from every decade of the last 60 years: Scott Walker or Dusty Springfield singing stripped down versions of songs by Jacque Brel and Jimmy Webb, with arrangements by Philip Glass or Massive Attack, and mixes from the dub school of Lee "Scratch" Perry and Augustus Pablo, plus a touch of Bossa Nova styling thrown in for good measure
Vocalists include previous Celestial associates; Adrian Da Silva (of Audio Traffic), May Chan and Mariella Gonzalez, plus; for the first time; an old friend, Shanghai-based Vastine "Wink" Pettis, who also plays alto sax, the previously mentioned Shamus Dark, and Ela R. Alegre, a frequent visitor to the Drum Music Studio in Hong Kong. Instrumentalists once again feature Celestial stalwarts; Asian Guitar legend Eugene Pao, Hong Kong's # 1 Erhu Player Hsin Hsiao Hung, Shakuhachi Master Sunny Yeung, and Johnny Kember on congas.
The sleeve design is also a departure in style from the previous albums, and was put together by our old friends at: www.chinastylus.com
For more info on the songs and lyrics, please visit: www.hongkongdubstation.com