Exposé Online banner

Karda Estra — Strange Relations
(Believers Roast BR016, 2015, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-02-27

Strange Relations Cover art

This time out Karda Estra main man Richard Wileman (guitars, basses, keyboards and more) with the six-part title suite has done a full on collaboration with drummer Paul Sears (The Muffins, and others), even sharing the compositions, as well as collaborating with guitarist Kavus Torabi (Knifeworld) on part two. The result – at least for the suite (which is about 40 minutes of the total 53-minute disc) – is sounding far more percussive oriented than about anything one might have heard by Karda Estra previously, though Sears’ excellent jazz drumming mixed in with Wileman’s highly melodic and occasionally avant-garde symphonic stylings sometimes still sounds like a splendid idea that hasn’t quite gelled yet, especially for ears more accustomed to the softer symphonic tendencies of the Karda Estra of yore. It does take the listener out on some interesting side-journeys, though, and several of those six parts point to new ideas that could well be explored further in future endeavors. The usual woodwind section of sax, clarinet, oboe and English horn, as well as the wordless voices, which applies the beautiful warm tones and feeling to Wileman’s symphonic keys and guitars is still to be found here in full force throughout Strange Relations. And that includes “Ylla” and “The Wanton Subtlety of Monna Tessa,” the two tracks that follow the main suite and close the album, the latter a march and fanfare full of melody and counterpoint, being probably the best cut on the disc in this writer’s opinion. All taken though, credit must be given for boldly trying something that’s a definite departure from what was done before. Growth and evolution don’t happen without actively reaching into new directions, and Strange Relations has certainly done that.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Karda Estra / Richard Wileman, Paul Sears

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Five Fifteen - Silver Machine & I Don't Remember – Here we have two four-song discs from Finland’s psychedelic progressive hard rock masters. The first (I Don't Remember) features a short version of a track from their album Six Dimensions of...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues