Showing posts from September, 2015

Karda Estra - Strange Relations

Last year a curious album by the name of Strange Relations came my way, and over the months since it has slowly revealed its many delights to me. For many years now, Richard Wileman has been ploughing a thoroughly individual furrow as Karda Estra, releasing several albums since debuting with A Winter In Summertime back in 1998. While I have heard some of the back catalogue, it is this strange and beguiling twelfth album that has completely hooked me.

Marrying complex rhythms and a modern classical sensibility to an exploratory nature allows Richard to make a unique music that would probably fall within the avant sphere if one was looking to conveniently categorise. "Avant"  can mean whatever you want it to, but would always suggest a sense of adventure, and Strange Relations has that in joyous quantities.

The six-part suite of music that comprises Strange Relations was co-written with Muffins' drummer Paul Sears, and the duo are joined in the composing credits on Strang…

The Kettering Vampires - perform Nico & The Velvet Underground

Kettering n. - The pattern left on one's posterior from sitting too long in a wicker chair 
Vampire n. - Iain Duncan Smith

The Kettering Vampires have nothing to do with either definition, nor, disappointingly, are they from Kettering. Welcome to an alternate universe where "Blodwyn P. Teabag records some overdubs on a tune called Shit Weasel", bands are called things like The Thurston Lava Tube, and there is a cult around a long extinct band called The Deep Freeze Mice. This is all the fault of a bloke called Alan Jenkins, as indeed are "The Kettering Vampires". Alan came up with this name for a band that were previously called The Otter Sandwich. According to Alan "A couple of the guys have a history in the business - usually when somebody tells me they have a history I have to send out some hired bastards to erase all trace of it". Alan's name is on the cover because "a record with my name on it automatically ensures seven figure sales and…