"Celestine ditched the jaunty dance rhythms and relatively facile lyrics typical of the reigning highlife tunes, and ignoring the soul music tropes most of the highlife bandleaders were appropriating in an effort to inject new life to their ailing format. Instead Celestine concocted a new highlife style that was more contemplative and lumbering; with the layering of Afro-Cuban ostinato basslines and repetitive rhythm patterns that interlocked to create an effect that was hypnotic, virtually transcendental. Meanwhile, Celestine himself sang as he stood coolly onstage in a black turtleneck and a sportscoat, looking like a university professor. The message was clear: this was not necessarily music for dancing – even though the rhythms were compelling enough. This was music for the thinkers." – Uchenna Ikonne
This LP compiles some of Celestine Ukwu's deepest and most affecting songs from the 1970s, which have been gorgeously restored and remastered by Tim Stollenwerk to highlight the brilliant details of Celestine and the entire Philosopher's National. Pressed on 160 gram black vinyl at Smashed Plastic in Chicago, it comes in a heavy 3 spot-colour jacket, with fold-over insert with bilingual lyrics and notes by Uchenna Ikonne (Comb & Razor Sound).
- Ejina Uwa Nya Isi
- Okwukwe Na Ncheckwube
- Ilo Abu Chi
- Tomorrow Is So Uncertain