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Karda Estra: Mondo Profondo/ New Worlds

Orchestral goodness that’s left of field and double of bubble.

Kavus Torabi, what a machine. He’s not only busy with inventive prog bands like Knifeworld to Guapo but his label Believers Roast is also home to some of the most interesting musicians around at the moment.

Now 10 albums in, Richard Wileman’s Karda Estra continue to make unclassifiable instrumental music, drawing on avant-garde classical, jazz and rock. Clarinet, trumpets, synths collide; French 60s pop elements nuzzle up to fragmented chords more usually associated with, say, Penderecki, and if Wileman thinks this music’s cinematic, the mind boggles at the movies he’s been watching.

The piano-led opener On Those Cloudy Days shifts inscrutably on its tonal axis, and you know you’re in rarefied air when a Torabi guest guitar slot feels like a comfy pair of slippers, but on Mondo Profondo II it does. The album puts you in an odd but better space. Bundled in with this striking CD, jazzy 2011 album New Worlds is a slightly easier listen (to wit, the gorgeous woodwinds and swinging jazz beat of Invaders From Venus), and proves the consistency and quality control of both artist and label.