Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Say, "Seattle" and music people will say some variation of grunge or Nirvana.
That's like thinking that Liverpool in the 21st century is still those black'n'white bomb-blasted streets that were imprinted in the collective imagination some half a century ago.
Seattle and the Pacific Northwest had a whole lot more going for it before and after Nirvana -- as is evidenced at their Experience Music Project -- and here at Elsewhere we've tried to acknowledge all those people on the Green Monkey label (not the least the consistently fine Jeff Kelly), Nineties psyche-favourites Sky Cries Mary and the soul-funk grooves from the Seventies into the late Eighties which came through the generic "Wheedle's Groove" (a story too complex and nuanced to go into detail again.
So, if Seattle still only means lumberjack shirts and grunge (and surely, it just can't!) then let's get funky on yo'ass out of the rainytown.
This here be the trio Teleclere -- just one album, Affection/Defection -- being lead into avant-garde, synth-pop dance world by bassist/synth/singer Tony Benton (left in the picture, bare chested with a tie) whose alter-ego is radio DJ Tony B who -- as far as we know -- still fronts a local Sunday morning radio show up there.
At least he did when a recent time-locked collection was issued.
It labored under an absurd title -- take big breath -- Wheedle's Groove; Seattle Funk, Modern Soul & Boogies Volume II, 1972- 1987.
This damn fine collection of B-grade and sometimes A-grade soul-funk acts -- whose singles, let alone reputations, never spread much beyond their own state -- is one of those oddball discoveries which opens up an alternative past and pretty good lo-rent present.
If disco-funk of the "never-heard-that-before" variety is of your persuasion.
Wheedle's Groove; Seattle Funk, Modern Soul & Boogie Volume II, 1972- 1987 is available in New Zealand through Border. Check their website and be surprised.
For more one-off, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults.