March 10, 2023
180g vinyl edition
A central figure in Seattle’s fading disco scene, radio DJ, producer, engineer, writer and multi-instrumentalist…Tony Benton was the driving force behind the Seattle soul-funk sound during the late 70s & 80s. Starting off his career at the age of ten he learned how to play the piano and then finally got to take a music class in the 7th grade. Having access to an electric piano made him fall in love with the thought that he could make his own music. At the age of 16 Tony and his friends already formed their first band called 'Crystal Clear' and were making up songs in his basement.
Things would really start of when Tony Benton teamed up with his group to form the avant-boogie group Teleclere who went on to release their first single in 1982 (Fantasy Love / Ultra Groove). That’s when Tony started playing all of the other instruments and thus earning him the title ‘multi-instrumentalist’. Teleclere was all about creating and performing original music, there was no music scene in Seattle at that time for a black artist or group who played original compositions. Rap-music was also emerging and clubs slowly started to switch from live performances to deejays.
Through the success of their independent EP release, Teleclere followed up a year later with their Affection/Defection album which created a serious hype. This gave them the chance to regularly open at concerts for national artists in halls and clubs. They played at nightclubs, bars, festivals, private parties and did mini tours in the Washington State cities & Canada…including opening for Grammy-award winning soul-star Peabo Bryson (performing for a crowd of 3,000 in their hometown Seattle).
Sadly, radio would not play their music so folks never really had the chance to hear it unless they saw them perform live (they always won the crowd over). To add insult to injury, venues and the likes started to mainly book cover bands playing top 40 music. Disappointed by this Tony Benton became a radio personality but would continue to record and perform under the name 'Teleclere' with various players and vocalists for many years to come. Only a handful of his tracks recorded were released in the end.
Thankfully we are left with the unique audio-document that is the Affection/Defection LP. The album took the scene by storm in 1983 and sounds like a sci-fi space odyssey unfolding on an intergalactic dance floor…a chopped and slapped slice of 80ies electro-funk, sensual soulful serenades, pulses of Innervisions-worthy bass, top of the line vocals and a plethora of vocoder magic. Also included is the hit ‘Steal Your Love’ that was featured on the acclaimed 2014 Light In The Attic compilation ‘Wheedle’s Groove Volume II: Seattle Funk, Modern Soul And Boogie 1972-1987’.
Tidal Waves Music (in collaboration with the Numero Group) now proudly presents the first ever vinyl reissue of this fantastic private pressed Seattle electronic soul/funk album (originally released in 1983 on Telemusic Productions). This rare record (original copies tend to go for large amounts on the secondary market) is now finally back available as a limited 180g vinyl edition (500 copies) complete with the original artwork and obi strip.