The Dragon family is back, this time in the form of Celestial Dragon offering a plate of downbeat and ambient morsels for our enjoyment. The better part of the compilation consists of output by veterans of the scene, with a hint of fresh blood (to keep in the spirit of the title of this compilation). Compiled by Pete Pan, quality is what seems to be offered here on a first glance. On to the music!
Something magical is happening here. Meditative would be the best way to describe the opening of this compilation. Ishq’s remix of Colourform’s Magic Carpet is a 10 minute magic carpet ride through slowly evolving atmospheres which soothe the soul and clear the mind. This gently flows into Evan Bartholomew’s (of Bluetech fame) Spirit Happening; an intricate piece of music that feels like a flower opening its buds in spring for the first time to let sun rays slowly caress and warm the beautifully coloured leaves. Overflow’s Scintilla (T3) is a more upbeat piece of music, fresh, warm and mature at the same time. Excellent stuff. (val)Liam offers As Is, which is a relaxing bit of acoustics-meet-electronics downtempo music. It makes me really curious about his recent album Daydreamer, which should be something very special indeed if this track is an indication. Distant System’s Lost Sequence (T5) is something of a small miracle. In the same vein as some of the tracks on Spiral Empire, his sound keeps maturing and evolving while still retaining the wonder and amazement of deep space exploration. Collaboration between Distant System and Nuclear Ramjet could result in something rather extraordinary, alas, that is just a dream. But this track is very real, and very enjoyable indeed. Ishvara’s Nomad (Arabian mix) literally grows on you like a vine, slowly reaching higher and higher. I am somehow put in mind of Cloudhopping by Alien Mutation vs. Indigo Egg. A track which truly hypnotizes by going nowhere and going everywhere at the same time. I seriously dig it. Rise and Shine by Open System (T7) is a bit more airy, and seems to lack substance, especially when compared to the previous tracks. In all, a friendly track which isn’t exactly a filler, but nothing memorable either. Kilowatts’ Nub has got some serious cohones. It’s breaks with attitude. It doesn’t exactly fit within the flow of the compilation, but it is a seriously quirky, kicking piece of music, so Mr. Pete Pan is more than forgiven for including this on the compilation.