Band: Karda Estra
Band Website: www.kardaestra.co.uk
Label Website: www.cyclopsrecords.info
Release Date: 2009
One of the more unique musical artists out there these days is Karda Estra, a band masterminded by one Richard Wileman. The music created is a melodic Chamber Rock filled with drama, pathos, melancholy, mystery and charm. They've just released their 12th disc entitled Weird Tales which is all of the above as well as being hugely symphonic. Weird Tales is a disc of 8 tracks each inspired by a book, painting, story, or movie. In fact Wileman has taken the time to outline the inspiration for each of the pieces, which goes a long way to helping to appreciate the music. It also helps build the mental images that we invariably create with this type of music. As on previous releases Karda Estra features multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger Richard Wileman who on various tracks calls on assistance from; Ileesha Bailey (vocals), Helen Dearnley (violin), Don Falcone (organ, Synths), Caron Hansford (oboe, cor anglais), Amy Hedges (clarinet), Jemima Palfreyman (tuba), Bridget Wishart (EMI Wind Synth) and Zoe Josey (flute, saxophone). Wileman may be the backbone with this music but there is no question these other performers provide so much in terms of melody, harmony and subtle textures.
Weird Tales consists of eight instrumental tracks of varying lengths from four-minutes to just over eight-minutes. Each of these compositions is like a mini-movie soundtrack. I know that there are descriptions of the musical inspirations behind each piece, but while driving to and from work, listening to the disc, my mind kept creating little movies to fit the dramatic nature of each track. I have to say most of these mini-movies tended to be in the sci-fi realm. Karda Estra’s music is full of contrasts, one minute soft and mellow, then stark and angular, and then warm swells of symphonic majesty. Within each track are moments where you imagine the scary monster is slowly creeping just around the corner, or the film-noir detective is wandering the streets of Gotham City looking pensively for the next clue, or the alien ships are forming their attack, when suddenly filling the screen slowly and majestically the hero’s vessel rises to fill the whole screen. I could go on to describe each track, but the above says it better. Only your movies might be different from mine. If you take a look at the musician’s instruments you can expect to hear plenty of well placed solos from each laid within various musical moods from haunting, to chilly, to creepy, to pensive, to spooky, to lush and symphonic.
If you’ve heard Karda Estra in the past, you’ll know what to expect. Weird Tales isn’t a departure in any way from the musical path Karda Estra are on. But if you are new to the band, this is the perfect disc to start your discovery. It’s worth saying again, if you enjoy the music of bands such as The Enid or Whimwise, you have to pick up Weird Tales by Karda Estra. Another disc I highly recommend.