French dance music distributor Pusher Distribution, previously covered in XLR8R news, is offering a fresh batch of soul-reggae singles and EPs from a variety of independent labels this July that could possibly launch a summer music trend. Pusher will promote five new singles and EPs all featuring reggae covers or edits of classic soul and funk cuts.
Pusher found success last year with a the debut album by French reggae soulsters The Dynamics, whose Version Excursions contained superb funky reggae takes on songs by Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, Herbie Hancock, and Curtis Mayfield. Pusher’s latest crop expands France’s take on Jamaican soul covers.
New titles in Pusher’s reggae-funk series include:
Mash-up act Taggy Matcher’s “Root Down” (Stix) 7” sees Beastie Boys' vocals set to a traditional reggae groove, backed with a reggae cover of Bob James’ jazz-funk breakbeat, “Nautilus,” on the flipside.
Vintage hip-hop gets the reggae touch on Supamomo’s “Say What” (Restaurant) single. Pharoahe Monch’s bombastic “Simon Says” is pasted over a driving roots riddim, while the B-side is a skanking version of Black Moon’s “How Many MC's.”
But the series is not without a little tongue-in-cheek nod to Francophone culture, as witnessed by Bost & Bim’s “Spongi Reggae” edit of Daft Punk’s “Harder, Stronger, Faster” (Bombist), with a sweetly rendered dub version of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” on the flip.
Other soul-reggae titles available this month include Mato “Mary Jane” (Big Single) covering Rick James’ nugget, and Bombist mashing up the Beatles’ “Because” with a roots riddim.
In May, Pusher also unleashed Motown Flies Jamaica, nine reggae covers of the Detroit soul label’s finest tracks, including ones by Stevie Wonder, Dianna Ross, The Temptations, and Edwin Starr.