In just two short years, Rachika Nayar’s compositions of digitally processed guitar have reimagined the limits of both the instrument and of electronic music. Her 2021 debut, Our Hands Against the Dusk, mutated her six-strings beyond recognition into lush, ghostly landscapes, which she arranged with deconstructed cellos, 90s synths, and piano. A companion EP “fragments,” released shortly after on RVNG Intl, then offered a glimpse into the types of modest, poignant guitar loops that made up the raw material for the former’s contorted sound design. With her massive follow-up LP, Heaven Come Crashing, the protean producer takes yet another jarring left-turn, this time pivoting into vivid, fluorescent maximalism. Retaining her mangled guitar stylings, she explores a sonic world of blistering, desperate passion through M1 piano stabs, supersaws, glimpses of Amen breaks, and colossal synth harmonies a la “Dead Cities”-era M83.
Between the respective intimate orchestral netherworlds and rapturous breakbeat fantasies of these two full-lengths, her music wades between a kaleidoscopic range of influences spanning the experimental realm (neoclassical, ambient) and the popular (trance, post-rock, and beyond). For this constant sense of invention and reinvention, her releases have drawn acclaim from publications including the New York Times, The Fader, Vulture, NPR, and Pitchfork, the latter of which named her sophomore effort Best New Music.