Rachika Nayar - Heaven Come Crashing Music Album Reviews

Rachika Nayar - Heaven Come Crashing Music Album Reviews
The Brooklyn composer injects the ambient wash of her past work with flashes of dancefloor emotionality, striking a balance between reflective contemplation and the ego-melting thrills of a warehouse party.

Rachika Nayar doesn’t just spew out a little fog before her live show, she stretches the venue’s fire code to its limit. Before the guitarist walks onstage, the entire performance space is clouded, red exit signs barely visible, until you can barely see your hand in front of your face. The effect on the audience is immediate: Conversations dull to a whisper and friends drift carefully towards each other to reunite before the music starts, tiptoeing across a shadowy maze of bodies as they take on a heightened awareness of their own.

It’s the perfect environment to experience Nayar’s music. Interviewed on the heels of her 2021 debut, Our Hands Against the Dusk, she championed the “totally obliterating” power of a rave’s atmosphere, and spoke of her desire to create a similar environment, ones that “simultaneously takes you out of yourself, and submerges you deep within yourself.” Our Hands did this by constructing misty ambient labyrinths out of processed guitar, revealing Nayar’s ability to sculpt the instrument’s earthy twang into unpredictable alien timbres and shift them back to familiar shapes at a moment’s notice. When Nayar debuted tracks from her astonishing second album, Heaven Come Crashing, at the Brooklyn venue Public Records, strobes flashed violently and unexpected floods of drums crashed into the crowd. Egos melted away as the crowd breathed in a wave of ecstatic release.

Heaven Come Crashing injects the ambient wash of Nayar’s past work with flashes of dancefloor emotionality, striking a balance between reflective contemplation and the ego-melting thrills of a warehouse party. On the stunning title track, she traces the arc of her musical transformation in miniature. Slices of granulated guitar gently refract into the frame, and for a few seconds, the song could be a holdover from the swooning sentimentality of Our Hands. But she soldiers on, backed by unearthly guest vocals from fellow guitarist and songwriter Maria BC that swell from airy wisps into a supercharged choir. Suddenly, a trap door unhinges and you’re ripped into a punishingly beautiful beat drop. It’s a scene of catharsis surrounded by a squealing guitar solo and the cascading cymbal crashes of a drum’n’bass beat. “Heaven Come Crashing” lifts you up with shameless melodrama and pure affirmation: It was all worth it.

Nayar deploys these moments of tension and release with the sixth sense of a veteran after-hours DJ, keenly aware that floor-filling emotional highs are earned through careful pacing. “Tetramorph,” the album’s longest and most satisfying song, weaves through a series of false stops and starts that perfectly read the pulse of the crowd. Chattering hi-hats come in at full volume, emerging from pin-drop silence in a quick hit of stimulation. They fizzle out but the effects cling to your body, propping you up as you navigate a maze of buzzing drones that build into a waltzing post-rock climax. The effect is startling, but as Nayar rocks out in the coda, you easily recall every part of the meticulously arranged journey, awe-struck at how seamlessly she blended it all together.

Other tracks use compositional sleight-of-hand to leave you dangling off the edge of a cliff, ending on deliciously maddening chords that make you lean into the speaker, trying to manifest a neat resolution by sheer force of imagination. “The Price of Serenity” rides dueling motifs—a steadily rising clean piano arpeggio and a squelching synthesizer lead—to a crunchy four-on-the-floor stomp, disguising a jarring left turn into oblivion with a pulse-pounding bass drum stutter. In a show of supreme confidence, she resurrects the formula on the next track, “Our Wretched Fate,” crashing from nocturnal ecstasy into sober daylight in half the time. Unexpected power surges back into your feet, only for the house lights to come up.

In this metamorphosis from ambient composer to dancefloor mystic, Nayar meets her mirror image in UK producer Loraine James. Where Nayar has folded her impressionistic collages into body-breaking narrative arcs, James has done the opposite, smoothing out the gritty IDM of 2021’s Reflection to reemerge this year with ambient side-project Whatever the Weather. But although they take new form, traces of the past and beloved compositional tools linger. Just as James can’t help but blow the dust off her drum machine, Nayar uses her guitar for soothing interludes that provide a dynamic counterpoint to Heaven Come Crashing’s barn-burning anthems.

Nayar’s new guitar experiments light the path with flickering details. A rhythm that sounds as if it were tapped out on her thigh, off-the-cuff, gives “Gayatri” a strange kind of propulsion. And the combination of bass synth and the brief glimmer of a corresponding lead line roots the searching motif of “Death & Limerence” in the assurance of a heaven-bound trajectory. It’s a dazzling recalibration, lifting Nayar up and over the darkness of her previous work. The answers aren’t quite pieced together, but the questions grow deeper and more satisfying.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Rachika Nayar - Heaven Come Crashing Music Album Reviews Rachika Nayar - Heaven Come Crashing Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Saturday, September 10, 2022 Rating: 5

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