Karda Estra — Weird Tales
(Cyclops CYCL 171, 2009, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2010-07-01
For his eighth album, Richard Wileman has turned to familiar and not so familiar topics, with pieces inspired by vampires, Max Ernst paintings, actor Peter Cushing, and the short fiction of Sheridan Le Fanu and Robert E. Howard. The compositions exude these sorts of highbrow reference points and are perfectly suited to Wileman’s unique brand of elegant and classically oriented chamber compositions. That means you’ll hear plenty of woodwinds, piano, classical guitar, and some brass, but little in the way of drums or electric instruments. As with past Karda Estra collections, the material often tugs at your subconscious, playing upon dark and unsettled realms of thought and dreams. I’ve seen this one described as moodier and darker than past albums, though if so it’s only a matter of degree. Wileman’s harmonic craft is fully intact and he continues to demonstrate his ability at weaving melodic lines that are simultaneously pretty and haunting, perhaps best seen in “The Whitstable Host” and “The Atom Age Sense of Impermanence.” Sonically the eight pieces have the velvety charm of past outings, with kudos once again to Ileesha Bailey’s gorgeously ethereal vocalizations, Carol Hansford’s cor anglais and clarinet, and of course Wileman’s own work on classical guitar and keyboards. This is the sort of thing to curl up to with a cup of tea and a good book, preferably a horror or murder mystery, and I can enthusiastically recommend it to fans of Wileman’s past work.
Related artist(s): Karda Estra
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more