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Karda Estra - Strange Relations CD (album) cover


Karda Estra


Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 21 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars 2015's 'Strange Relations' was the eleventh album to be released by Richard under the Karda Estra banner, and although it is still recognisable as such, there is a much larger jazz element contained than normal. This is because the first six (of eight) tracks were a partnership between Richard and drummer Paul Sears (The Muffins). Given that it's not unusual for drums to hardly feature at all in Richard's work, having a jazz drummer involved is bound to give a very different feel to proceedings. This time around Richard uses electric, acoustic, classical and bass guitars, keyboards, samples, percussion, zither and rastrophone while Caron de Burgh provides oboe on three songs and cor anglais on two, Amy Fry clarinet on three and sax on three, Mike Ostime trumpet on one, Kavus Torabi (Knifeworld) electric guitar on a song while of course Ileesha Wileman provides her delicate wordless vocals on a couple as well.

There are times when the drums do really add something to the overall sound, there are others where I felt that they were too intrusive, and that the music would have benefited from less of them. The structure of Richard's music is often classical in approach, and this style doesn't always marry well with a drummer, and that is sometimes the case here. But, there are times, such as on 'Strange Relations 6', where they come together in a manner that is perfect and the differing styles blend and create something very special indeed. Although I would hesitate to recommend this as a starting point for Karda Estra, it is still a very fine release indeed and an interesting addition to his canon.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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