Yes Sunday Jammers, welcome back. I hope you’ve been having sun glazed fun and everything is being reflected back at you in colourful soft focus. If it’s not, and it's all still a bit too much, then take today’s jam as a healing balm for your ears. Use it to help you filter out all the unnecessary hassle and maybe even take you to a place of transformation.
Today’s track is the incredibly sublime, sound provoking and achingly beautiful ‘Losing Too is Still Ours’ (in fact I offer you the whole album Our Hands Against the Dusk) from Brooklyn based ambient composer Rachika Nayar. Knowing that she’s from Brooklyn was interesting, not just because it hints at her musical sensibilities, but because her philosophy involves using sound to create an audio picture of physical encounters and reflections of her world. This album takes what is tangible and transforms it into an abstract piece of art. Feels almost like an audio walk through the soul of place without the narrative voiceover to add context, making room for the listener to imagine the machinations of Nayar’s Brooklyn and by extension her world. I challenge you not to be transfixed. This is an exceptional, stunning debut from an artist whose work feels considered but not overly constructed, balances out beauty with intensity, cerebral but does not lack humanity and spirit. This album is full of sound musing, great warmth and a sense of curiosity.
‘Our Hands Against the Dusk’ is an album with a story; it’s inspired by Nayar’s encounters as a queer Indian American within the various communities she engages with. This is all given voice by sounds that are familiar but also alien. Nayar subverts and transforms the tones of violins, guitars, electronic patterns and voices into samples and loops that sound cracked and distorted. It gives me a sense of complex emotions being expressed, they meet somewhere between joy, sorrow, tenderness, anger, ambivalence, confusion, assuredness and many, many more. The album moves between all these expressions with a lightness that feels effortless but full of purpose. I offer today’s track because it feels like a perfect middle ground between the earthy and ephemeral elements of this album, exactly right for our ‘Get Right Sunday’ purposes. It’s got lots of room for headspace, so maybe find a place where the light is good and you can see it changing so you can contemplate the different textures. It won't keep you confined as it has got prompts for your limbs too, making them almost elastic and able to reach further into an imagined fantasy space made real, music making magic. So, so beautiful and affecting.
Nayar’s sound, although abstract, its origins are rooted in something earthier, tactile and human. It's layered, full of texture and casts a line straight into the soul that pulls on emotions. Sometimes it's direct, pushy and strong, other times it's whimsical, understated, gentle and questioning. It's an incredible thing when music can play on so many emotions and ideas at the same time reflecting a boldness and intelligence on the part of the creator. I am deeply in love with a composer of this style whose music stretches way beyond the cerebral and is rooted very much in feelings and is able to articulate where words are ineffective; expressing the inexpressible and does not skimp on the humanity. This is a special, special piece of music. I am totally engaged with Nayar and cannot wait to hear what comes next and where she takes me. This is an artist who is conducting an inner cosmic journey with such elegant grace and precision. Incredible. Hope you enjoy it and happy Sunday, Jammers.