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

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

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jeff Tarlton - Astral Years – I would bet money that Jeff Tarlton sleeps with a book of Kirouac's poems in his arms and Morrisons Van and Jim on his turntable (c'mon folks, it is so hip to have vinyl). Tarlton is an...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues