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RICHARD WILEMAN

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Richard Wileman biography
As every Symphonic Prog fan knows, a multi instrumentalist Richard WILEMAN is the founder / frontman of KARDA ESTRA. As a solo artist, he's released his debut EP "Ghost" in August 2017, and debut full-length album "Veil" in February 2018.

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RICHARD WILEMAN discography


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RICHARD WILEMAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 52 ratings
Veil
2018
4.00 | 3 ratings
Cabal Of A Thousand Souls
2019

RICHARD WILEMAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

RICHARD WILEMAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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RICHARD WILEMAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 3 ratings
Ghost
2017

RICHARD WILEMAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cabal Of A Thousand Souls by WILEMAN, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Cabal Of A Thousand Souls
Richard Wileman Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Richard is back with his latest release, 7 songs and just 22 minutes long. In many ways this Richard going back to his roots, as this is probably the closest he has been to Lives & Times for some years, although it still contains elements we have come to love with Karda Estra plus of course he is also now providing vocals. On this release he has been joined by Amy Fry who provides clarinet on a couple of songs, alto sax on another, and vocals on four of the seven. The rest is of course all Richard as one would expect. Amy was one of three additional musicians on Richard's solo album 'Veil', and this sows him again moving in a slightly different direction.

It's now well over 25 years since Richard and I were first in touch, and in all that time I don't think he has ever released a poor piece of work, and he is not going to stop now. His music always contains a great deal of space, and feel very cinematic, yet now he is combining that with a more singer-songwriter direct style and the result is in some ways very much like Robert Wyatt, which I am sure you will agree is never a bad thing. There is never any rush, notes and arrangements always feel very deliberate as he takes us on a journey which may be based on acoustic guitar or piano, but is always interesting and beguiling. Richard is one musician whose new releases always get me excited as they are always very high quality yet he has never gathered the fanbase he so richly deserves. He has been one of the UK's top performers for many years and shows no sign at all of slowing down yet. Poignant, delicate with a real refusal to sound like anyone else, this is music one can just put on repeat and get more out of it each and every time. Superb.

 Veil by WILEMAN, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.91 | 52 ratings

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Veil
Richard Wileman Crossover Prog

Review by mitarai_panda

3 stars Richard Wileman is the lead singer and founder of the pre-symphonic rock band KARDA ESTRA from the UK. KARDA ESTRA has released many works over the years. It is dark and mysterious in style, with complex orchestral choreography and a sense of horror soundtrack. Wileman released his first solo album "Veil" this year, with a slightly different style, although it is also multi-machine music (especially the use of woodwind instruments, which makes the music sound beautiful and rich), and his wife has dedicated beautiful but still dark The vocals, but overall relatively small and fresh, the songs are mostly very short, like dark pieces, this is a very charming and cute album, but I think that did not reach the height of the KARDA ESTRA, a Samsung half to four star rating.
 Veil by WILEMAN, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.91 | 52 ratings

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Veil
Richard Wileman Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars A few years ago, if I had been asked what I would have expected from a solo album by Richard Wileman, I know for sure that I would not have expected this. But, having heard the 'Ghost' EP last year, I was sure that I was in for something different to what he has been producing up until now. Richard and I first got to know each other in a different existence when I was running the Feedback fanzine in the UK, and he was in Lives & Times, who were signed to the Dutch SI Music label. After that, he moved seamlessly into Karda Estra, which have had a much more modern classical approach. Richard is a multi-instrumentalist, and he would also bring in other key musicians along with his wife Ileesha and her amazing wordless vocals, to create soundscapes quite unlike any other. Richard, like myself and many others, have been putting our favourite top ten albums onto Facebook, and it has been no surprise at all to me that Richard has not only been picking artists I have never heard of, but also included Vaughan Williams in his list.

So, after 14 full-length albums with Karda Estra, where he has been the main musician, arranger etc., how different would an album under his own name be? Given that 'Infernal Spheres' only came out I guess I was expecting something quite similar, but while some of the songs are re-workings of KE numbers, and some others (such as 'The Sea Witch') sound very much as if they could be with delicate acoustic guitars and clarinet, Richard has surprised me by singing himself! The biggest shock is not that Richard has a voice that suits his style of music very well indeed (or vice versa), but that he has kept it hidden for so long? Even going back as far as 1992's 'Rattlebones', I don't think that Richard has provided vocals on any album, so it must be down to him having such a strong mental image of what the music needed to sound like and his voice had no part to play at all in that. But, on 'Mephisto Portrait' for example, his vocals are perfect with the Karda-Estra style of music. True, there is less orchestration than one would normally expect, and in many ways the songs have much simpler arrangements, but the use woodwind fits perfectly.

I guess the one question for me is where to from here? I have always greatly enjoyed Richard's work, so what will the next album be like? Will it be another under his own name, or will we see something that is more orchestral and like a cinematic soundscape? What it is, I already know that I am going to love it, and look forward to whatever happens next with great interest.

 Ghost by WILEMAN, RICHARD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2017
4.05 | 3 ratings

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Ghost
Richard Wileman Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars And so, Richard is commencing on a new musical journey. I think I first came across his music about 25 years ago, when he was the driving force behind Lives & Times. In turn that became Karda Estra, and now here he is releasing an EP under his own name for the very first time. No room for the haunting vocals of Ileesha, but instead we have Richard providing vocals himself on the title cut. This is the furthest removed from KE of all the songs, as it really is a song, as opposed to an almost orchestral soundscape. But, even on the others, especially 'Chaos Theme For Clarinet' we can hear that Richard is taking a different approach, as although he has worked with Amy Fry in the past, here she has providing a far jazzier style to her clarinet than she has in the past.

Just four songs, with a total playing length of twelve minutes, it will be interesting to see what else he releases in this style, as it is an interesting progression from where he has been in the past, although with his use of acoustic guitar and arrangements it is still something that will appeal to fans of his other works

 Veil by WILEMAN, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.91 | 52 ratings

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Veil
Richard Wileman Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Richard--of KARDA ESTRA--sings! And beautifully!

1. "Ghost" (3:34) Steve Hackett never did anything as profoundly emotional or powerful as this. It's just gorgeous! In the Ben Watt/Tracey Thorn pantheon of folk songs! (10/10)

2. "Last Grains" (3:34) a throwback to the halcyon days of late 1960s Burt Bacharach. So catchy! Where is Laetitia Sadler? What a beautiful background vocal voice Richard has! Like Ben Watt. (9/10)

3. "The Sea Witch" (3:21) a more introspective version of a KARDA ESTRA song. (8.5/10)

4. "Mephisto Portrait" (3:53) reminds me of the sensitive older vocal songs of ANTHONY PHILLIPS except with more engaging chord progressions. (9/10)

5. "Cassiopeia" (3:33) a familiar KE favorite (one of my all-time favorites from my second most favorite KE album) recreated with a very different, more deeply dimensional and somehow raw, human soundscape. Brilliant! Such emotion brought to the performances! Nice work, Amy Fry! (10/10)

6. "Three Occulations" (3:33) "live" piano background for another simple folkie song. I love this singing voice! It's so real, conveying such a vulnerable human side of Richard. (9/10)

7. "Andromeda Variations for Guitar" (1:56) a personal classical guitar etude with a little Steve Hackett flare to it. (4/5)

8. "Chaos Theme for Clarinet" (1:56) (4/5)

9. "Unmarked on Any Map" (3:26) not as good as the other vocal songs but still remarkable for the up-close and personal side of Richard being revealed here! Bravo! (7.5/10)

10. "The Veil" (2:14) more like a simplified KE song but a nice representation of the "hidden" side of the man behind KE. (4/5)

11. "Introduction and Ceres" (2:25) a reworking of another old KE song, stripped down to acoustic guitar and clarinet (and some little electric strums in the "Ceres" part). For some reason the music hear reminds me of Woody Allen's Gershwin soundtrack to Manhattan. (5/5)

12. "Wine of the Cosmos" (2:40) Gorgeous singing, choosing some interesting melody lines over some duplicitous guitar chords. Reminds me of Serge Gainsborough song from the 1960s/70s. I love this voice! (9.5/10)

13. "Alice Afternoon" (4:32) now THIS is one sounds like a gem from an Anthony Philips Private Parts and Pieces album. Stunning! (10/10)

14. "Golgotha Dancers" (1:45) due to the percussion and melodies used, this one has a world music, even African or at least Moorish, feel to it. Love the horns. Great closer! (5/5)

I must admit to being rather shocked to hear Richard's voice. It's gorgeous! And conveys sush wonderfully accessible human emotion. Why has he been hiding this from us all these years? I love the stripped down versions of some of his old Karda Estra classics, as well. They give the songs the same human accessibility that his YouTube videos through the years have done. Lovely album! Truly lovely!

Five stars; a masterpiece of classical-infused prog folk music--or "unpluggedness."

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition.

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