Special Pitchfork Music Festival Contributor
It was a bumping start to the heat-drenched Day 2 of Pitchfork on the Blue Stage with DJ/producer Chrissy Murderbot and MC ZULU. Dominique Rowland, who performs as MC ZULU, engaged the crowd with his smooth baritone and reggae/dancehall-influenced flow over Murderbot’s beat-laden tracks.
ZULU dropped political rhymes, coolly messing with cadence; through a bullhorn he chanted the call-to-arms “Anarchy in the neighborhood” yet filtered through that silky baritone the subversion felt a polite suggestion versus a command. Amid the socially-conscious refrains, there was also an element of whimsy, such as when ZULU invited a little boy onstage to dance and they distributed whistles and water to the crowd. He also injected a sense of humor into the mix, ending the set with a non-shout out: “I would like to thank my record label. Oh, wait a minute. I don’t f***ing have one. I make my own!”
Sun Airway was a decidedly less exuberant affair. The outfit mined shimmery indie-electro rock, which was stunted initially by a murky mix. While the sound improved halfway through the set, their romantic (“I’ll be there just to lasso you a wind chime” was one such sentiment) tunes began to blend together and lacked dynamics. They performed two new songs from a forthcoming seven-inch, though the songs received similar treatment throughout.
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