Alphabetical Order: G
Get Down by Connie Case. Konduko Records, 1982.
Get Down is a stone cold leftfield classic.
The track came out on a 12” on the Miami based Tashamba / Konduko label in 1982. Information on vocalist Connie Case is hard to come by, it would appear that Get Down was her one and only track to have stood the test of time – she did appear on a reggae cover of a Jimmy Cliff track ‘Sooner or Later’ by The Kouchie Klan in 1983 – other than that, I’ve no idea.
What I do know is that Get Down was produced by a Mr Noel Williams aka King Sporty, who’s an intriguing character. He came through the legendary Jamaican studio, Studio One, in the early sixties under the tutelage of Clement ‘Sir Coxson’ Dodd, reggae legend for whom the young Noel Williams acted as a studio sideman.
Williams released his first track in ’65, a reggae cut called El Cid. He was also a co writer on Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier. In the seventies he moved to Miami and made the gradual switch from producing Reggae, to producing Funk of the Electro variety, which, as with Get Down, he put out on his labels Konduko and Tashamba. Fans of Miami Bass speak of him in hushed, reverent tones. He’s also married to soul queen Betty Wright. The man’s story is intertwined with all kinds of musical deities. And lest we forget, he produced this absolute gem.
Get Down is odd, sparse and deeply funky. It’s that old classic combo again: heavy synth bass and driving drum machine. Connie’s vocals are treated with a harsh, odd echo in such a way that they almost sound synthetic, some low pitched synth doodles are pitted against the bass line giving it even more thrust and an occasional high synth line plays what sounds like a trad funk horn section riff over the top. That’s it. The arrangement ebbs and flows over seven and a bit minutes, occasionally cooling down with a mini breakdown, before jetting off again on its turbo bass odyssey.
Get Down is one of those tunes that transcends scenes: It’s bassline is big enough to impress the snap-back-cap brigade; Disco fans know and love it; House heads in the know claim it as one of their own; Electro fiends may even sing along.
King Sporty came back not so long ago with an outfit called, brilliantly, Sporty and The Laptop. As for Connie, your guess is as good as mine.
Next week: H as in Hob Nob.
By Joe Evans