Some music is easy to pigeon hole for purpose. Music to dance to, music to chill out to, music that excites or soothes, makes a statement or just makes a pleasant noise. Composer Richard Wileman, under the title of Karda Estra, however takes a different route, he makes music that explores. Sitting somewhere between cinematic soundtrack and ambient progressive soundscaping, past inspirations have seen his music invoke gothic romance, Hammer horror scores , science fiction, pulp era novels, pastoral dream pop and even free jazz, often blending seamlessly together on the same album.
Here the same eclecticism is at work on what is effectively a joint release of two distinctly separate albums. Mondo Profondo is the new work and takes its lead from a mix of apocalyptic literature, Lovecraftian horror, symphonic jazz and the sound tracks of the Italian Mondo films that the album title implies. Like all of Richards past work this is music with depth and grandeur, music that demands attention and contemplation rather than a mere cursory listen.
And so it is with the second work to be found here, 2011’s New Worlds. From such titles as Chronoclasm and The Sky Below science fiction fans will quickly spot the references to some of the genres classic novels and the music acts like a sound track to them. A spacey mix of sweeping orchestrations that suggest dying galaxies, strange alien vistas and the new worlds of the title plus the occasional nod to the 60’s heyday of the genre.
The sleeve notes suggest a couple of possibilities for Karda Estra’s genre, Futuristic Nostalgia? Celestial Lounge? whatever you want to call it you would be hard pushed to find another artist or band original and far seeing enough to join them in whichever pigeon hole you chose to place them.