A few months back I learned of a new record shop located in Burien, just a bit south of Seattle, called Time Tunnel Records. I eventually figured out a reason to get over there, and it’s a pretty cool little shop that’s almost exclusively used material. But they did have a few new selections, most notably six different 7″ singles released in the last year or so by a small Seattle-area label focused on soul, funk, and electro called We Coast Records. I’m always telling people to support local, so I put my money where my mouth is and bought all six, supporting both the local store and the local label.
I wanted to write about all of these in one post, and I finally found the time (and patience, because I hate dealing with 7″ records…) to sit down and spin them all. So here’s a little somethin’-somethin’ about each.
F2D – “Boogaloo” b/w “So Much More” and “Come On” b/w “Funky 45th St.”
F2D stands for “Funky 2 Death,” and this seven-piece is as advertised – funk-hay. “Boogaloo” b/w “So Much More” is the first We Coast release (WC001) and opens strong with a straight-up funky groove number called “Boogaloo,” while the flip side is pure soul with vocals by the lovely Melissa Montalto. The funk track is a party number, while the soul music is for lounging around with that special someone…
The second F2D record (WC006) opens with a great soul/funk blend which reminds me A LOT of Hungarian artist Sarolta Zalatnay, who was making music like this in the 70s and 80s. The flip side, “Funky 45th St.,” is another funktastic instrumental with emphasis on the horns and keyboards. If F2Ds live performances are anything at all like what’s on these two singles, my guess is they’re a hell of a party band.
Victortrey Funklove – “Blue Pill (Summer Pool)” b/w “Blue Pill (Summer Pool) – Instrumental”
We Coast appears to sometimes use WC and sometimes WCR as prefixes for their catalog numbers, as this Victortrey Funklove single is numbered WCR002. Not that it really matters, especially when the funk is this funky. Funklove produces some nicely danceable pop-funk with elements of James Brown, Prince, and Morris Day and The Time, with a little hip-hoppish scat thrown in for good measure. Including an instrumental version as the B side is a nice touch that will certainly appeal to the DJs out there who would like to sample some of Funklove’s funky beats.
Marmalade – “Gotta Get Up (To Get Down)” b/w “Funky Place”
“Gotta Get Up (To Get Down)” (WC003) is probably my favorite We Coast release. I’m not sure how many people are in Marmalade – I’m not even sure they know. They probably just count heads right before the show starts, because their Bandcamp page indicates 12+ members. “Gotta Get Up (To Get Down)” is some great dance-funk, keepin’ it funky with the horns but groovin’ with a deep rhythm section featuring some killer bass. “Funky Place” is just that, a seriously funky place, with more emphasis on the horns in a more classic funk style. I challenge you to stay in your seat while listening to Marmalade. Personally I don’t think it’s possible.
Tiffany Wilson & The Bricklayers – “Your Love” b/w “Apocalypse Party”
Tiffany Wilson definitely has an Aretha Franklin vibe on her A side “Your Love,” (WC005) but it’s on the B side that she truly shines. “Apocalypse Party” is sultry. It’s sexy. It showcases her vocal range and includes some impressive backing vocals to boot. The guitar and bass is funky, and the horns are like exclamation points placing emphasis on different points of the song. Tiffany Wilson is the female Marvin Gaye on “Apocalypse Party.”
Richie Aldente – “Droptop” b/w “Take My Party Serious”
It wasn’t until the last (WCR008) of these We Coast releases that we got to something with a more modern vibe. “Droptop” is sort of electro-funk, reminiscent of a less over-the-top version of Daft Punk. We’ve got vocal modulation here and some electronic music over the more traditional funk beat, and it’s pretty fantastic. The flip side is more of the same, though a little less funk and a little more disco.
You can listen to every single one of these songs online for free. Just go to the We Coast website HERE and you can link off to the different band Bandcamp pages to check them out for yourself, as well as order both physical and digital copies. I’ll definitely be checking back to look for more We Coast releases.