Rachaka began as a collaboration between Derek Houghton and Martin Hodgson in 1987 after they met as session musicians for an up and coming local band in Glasgow. It quickly became apparent that Houghton’s multi cultural approach to percussion interlocked very successfully with some of Hodgson’s cross-rhythm piano playing.
They took their sound into the studio, after working on some home demos, and recorded the first completed pieces, which helped formulate the concept of their prospective line-up. For several months they auditioned a wide variety of instumentalists, searching for a sound that would complement their musical ideas.
In early summer 1988 they had a chance encounter with vocalist and actress Julia Dow. Julia then recommended Jane MacFarlane, a talented cellist whom she had met during their time together at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
From the first rehearsal session it was immediately obvious that they had found the band structure they were looking for and the creative writing and exchange began to flow comfortably . The quartet went into intensive rehearsal over that summer, galvanising their unique sound and approaches to performance, and emerging in the Autumn with their first dynamic and eclectic live set.
Rachaka’s debut performance took place in The Winter Gardens of The Peoples Palace in Glasgow later that same year.
A string of performances followed in small theatre style venues, such as the The Third Eye Centre, throughout 1989 and culminating in a week long residency at the Richard Demarco Gallery as part of that year’s Edinburgh Festival.
In 1990 the band were awarded a grant from Glasgow City Council to set up a series of regular concerts to help celebrate the city being chosen as European City of Culture. This involved performances at larger venues to accommodate their growing support, such as The Tramway Theatre where they invited other idiosyncratic bands and musicians to perform with them and air their own experimental music.
During this time Rachaka’s two highly successful performances at the RSAMD’s Guinness Room and Stevenson Hall were recorded live.
Rachaka’s final performance took place in The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh in March 1991. This was also recorded live.
Due to other commitments of individual band members it was decided that a hiatus was due. However, they never returned to performance in that line-up again.
Between 1991-92 Houghton and Hodgson went into rehearsal again, this time with electric guitar and bass as accompaniment. Although some demo material was recorded, the outfit never played live.
In 1996 Houghton and Hodgson reunited for a week long residency, after a brief spell of intensive rehearsal, at The Glasgow Fair festival where they performed original material of a more cinematic nature as Rachaka Music For Visuals. A recording of one of those performances was made.
20 years later in 2016 Houghton, Hodgson and Dow got together once again to review previous material and embark on some new compositions. The work was never taken to the live stage.
Houghton and Hodgson have met occassionaly in each other's studios essentially for extended improvisation sessions.