T. Kolai Teak All Eye

Anyone not familiar with T. Kolai will be inspired to get into their groove after hearing this album. T. Kolai consist of Taha "T” Elroubi and Nicolas "Kolai” Laget, two Washington DC-based artists who have collaborated on this debut, where soulful sultry vocals are paired to African-inspired jazzy tribal grooves. T. Kolai has managed to masterfully blend one track into the next with effortless arrangements and vocals so subtle you hardly notice them. There’s an interesting dichotomy to Teak All Eye in that it is funky enough to dance to yet diverse and simple enough to be played as the backdrop to a low key evening at home. "T” is a Sudanese Iranian American, while "Kolai” was born in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and grew up in Kinshasa (Zaire). It has been said that it’s not where you are it’s where you come from; in the case of this duo it’s ever so true. Some will want to slot this album into the world music category given its unclassifiable, eclectic sound but regardless Teak All Eye is the antithesis to commercial radio play drivel. "Soulful music for funky people” — as they call it on the album — is what this music is regardless of the category or genre it is slotted into. Having said that, you may have to do some searching to find Teak All Eye but it’s worth the trip. (Chilli Funk)