Guy Buttery and Kanada Narahari bridge African-Indian cultural sound their collaborative Nāḍī album

Guy Buttery met prominent music therapist Dr. Kanada Narahari in 2017 seeking help for his chronic and crippling fatigue. What followed sparked possibly one of the most pivotal cross-cultural musical collaborations I’ve ever heard.

Nādī translates from the Sanskrit as The Channel or An Internal River – and in itself, the album is a unique channel for creative freedom. “Guy and I tried to wander as much as possible, without any speculative, preoccupied ideologies or limitations,” explains Narahari.

The album was written and recorded in Durban – which is also home to the largest Indian community outside of the subcontinent. It’s an expertly formulated compilation of sound: fine-tuned yet experimental enough for it all to sound like one extended, well-timed jam session.

Buttery’s intricate guitar work meets Narahari’s sitar counterparts and blossoms – navigating an echoing and open-ended ambient sound. Grounding percussion roots down “Sonokota” and “Kya Baat” – while the latter builds into almost frenzied acoustics. “Miyan” is gossamer-fine and drenched in silvery harmony – and “A Dichotomy of Sorts” is fraught in intuitive texture and even-tempered melody.

It’s a groundbreaking, yet wholly intricate and subtle piece of work which somehow stitches together sound across the expanse of the Indian Ocean.