Exposé Online banner

Karda Estra — Mondo Profondo / New Worlds
(Believers Roast BR001, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-07-23

Mondo Profondo / New Worlds Cover artAfter a dozen or so releases, Karda Estra continues to revise and fine tune a sound that is expressive, angular, and uncommonly beautiful. Composer and multi-instrumentalist Richard Wileman has chosen a path that eschews all of the common trappings of the rock idiom, perfecting a profile that lies midway between symphonic rock and a modern chamber sound, lushly orchestrated with violins, double-reeds, flute, clarinet, saxes, voice and more, in addition to Wileman’s guitar, bass, keyboards, piano, kalimba and percussion. Compositions typically involve strange and unusual melodic juxtapositions woven with surprise and enchantment, and for the most part shun any semblance of a rock beat – the lineup is essentially drummerless (although guest players contribute drums on one track). For those who need comparisons, the closest might be the early works of The Enid (their first four or five albums) but without the bombast, grandeur and symphonic overkill, mixed with the guitar classicism of Steve Hackett. The sound isn’t always dark a-la Univers Zero, nor is it always bright and cheerful, but it does encompass elements of both while often taking on an other-worldly character. Mondo Profondo features a number of collaborators, including the regular Karda Estra crew (Ileesha Bailey, Caron Hansford, Amy Hedges, Zoë Josey and Helen Dearnley), but we also find Kavus Torabi (Guapo), Matt Baber (Sanguine Hum), Phil Mercy (Thieves’ Kitchen), Stu Rowe, Marco Bernard, and others collaborating, track depending. Also included on this CD release is New Worlds, Karda Estra’s 2011 release heretofore only available as a download, The flavor of the twelve cuts on New Worlds is similar, perhaps slightly more serene and dreamy at times, and more edgy and avant-garde at others, and also features collaborations with Torabi and Rowe, plus Don Falcone (Spirits Burning) and Bridget Wishart (Hawkwind). All taken, this disc is a seriously enjoyable listen that’s in a class of its own.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Karda Estra / Richard Wileman

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Simon Steensland - The Simon Lonesome Combat Ensemble – Cutting-edge, unpretentious and imaginative are three adjectives that describe this offering by Swedish multi-instrumentalist and composer Simon Steensland. Mixing elements of rock, neo-classical,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues