HERE at Backseat Mafia, we’ve loved the brittle, pretty guitar experimenta of New York’s Rachika Nayar for a good while; check our write-ups for a brace of single drops from her album for NNA Tapes at the beginning of the year, the otherworldly fire of “Losing Too Is Still Ours” and the potency of “The Trembling Of Glass”, should you need a little backstory and grounding in her vision.
She’s busy, ever busy, ever creating, and has an EP due just next week for RVNG Intl.’s boutique label Commend; it’s entitled fragments and it arrives as part of THERE, Commend’s continuing series of music inspired by RVNG Intl.’s communal Lower East Side space.
fragments is a collection of sonic miniatures that Rachika constructed from guitar loops at home – and we’ve got a taster for you herein, the brief, flickering beauty of “clarity”, which comes with conversely blurry, impressionistic visuals below.
it’s wiry in its melodic complexity, drawing on a gossamer, cyclical beauty that stretches back through The Durutti Column to the minimalists of the Sixties and Seventies; whilst also sharing a common sonic ground with another great solo guitar outing of this year, The Wolfhounds’ guitarist Andy Golding’s record as Dragon Welding.
While growing up and beginning her exploration of her relationship with the guitar, Rachika used delay pedals to improvise layered guitar pieces; this evolved into self-exploration and restoration for the fledgling experimentalist.
Whereas on her debut album On Our Hands Against the Dusk, the singles from which we’ve pointed you to above, the guitar is present but processed, synthesizing with the surrounding instruments and often transforming beyond recognition, fragments is bolder, the guitar centre stage, speaking clearly and less a pretty murmur within the whole.
The cyclical, meditative quality of looped composition is a means for Rachika to cleanse her creative space, she says; and provides an architecture in which she can “access my heart and cultivate some kind of internal movement in times of stasis.”
The pieces on fragments also pay homage to diverse influences such as Pat Metheny’s album Electric Counterpoint and mathrock exponents such as Don Caballero.
Rachika uses fragments to preserve the moment, fleeting and indelible, through its connection to place, in unchanging, raw detail.
Rachika Nayar’s fragments will be released digitally and on cassette by Commend/RVNG Intl. on August 13th and is available to pre-order over at Bandcamp, right now.