Exposé Online banner

Karda Estra — Weird Tales
(Cyclops CYCL 171, 2009, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2010-07-01

Weird Tales Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Karda Estra / Richard Wileman

Latest news

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

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Electrum - Frames of Mind – Here are three guys who love Rush and decided to record an album together of songs influenced by the Canadian trio. It's a scenario I've seen played out over and over (see Afterlife in these...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues