Boomkat Product Review:
Rachika Nayar’s fragments is a collection of sonic miniatures constructed from guitar loops and in the familiar comforts of her own bedroom.
"First released as a limited edition cassette by RVNG Intl’s Commend THERE imprint in 2021, fragments (expanded) adds an entire new side of previously unreleased music to the collection, which has been newly mastered by Rafael Anton Irrisari.
While growing up and developing a relationship with the instrument and her capabilities, using delay pedals to improvise layered guitar pieces evolved from a practice into a deep source of self-exploration and restoration for Nayar. On Our Hands Against the Dusk, Nayar’s debut album released earlier this year, the guitar is present but processed, synthesizing with the surrounding instruments and often transforming beyond recognition. Like Our Hands, the form of fragments remains complex, informed by virtuosic, dexterous guitar playing, but the collection of sound retains a sense of primitivism, and represents a new experience for Nayar in sharing such an intimate part of her creative practice.
Nayar views this practice as a constant companion. The cyclical, meditative quality of exploring loop-based expression is a means for Nayar to cleanse her creative space, and provide a psychological architecture in her home where she can “access my heart and cultivate some kind of internal movement in times of stasis.” The pieces on fragments also pay homage to influences on Nayar’s guitar technique, ranging from Pat Metheny’s interpretations of Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint to emotive Post/Math-Rock crossovers like Don Caballero and Toe.
fragments is not only a document of Nayar’s domesticity and the preliminary writing processes that evolve into song, but also a measurement of memory and spiritual realignment. Much like the metaphorical models of past homes through which Ted Kooser wanders in his essay Small Rooms in Time, Nayar uses fragments to preserve the moment, both fleeting and indelible, through its connection to place, in unchanging, raw detail. fragments provides an intimacy between Nayar and those listening in parallel spaces, activating our collective past and shared unconscious experience."