Live Review: Georgia Anne Muldrow @ Bumbershoot 9/5

Sunday 4pm
Fisher Green Stage

Possibly the coolest husband and wife team in hip hop since Abba, Georgia Anne Muldrow and partner MC/husband/producer Declaime aka Dudley Perkins deal in spiritually charged, experimental neo-soul-blip-hop that pairs the beat patterns of J Dilla and Flying Lotus with avant-garde raps and soaring, free-form vocals.

From the moment they take to the stage, their Bumbershoot set is part jazz club, part hip hop block party, and part pentecostal church.

“Who wants to see more love in the world?” shouts Declaime. “Who wants to see more justice in the world?” as if he’s getting primed to deliver an entirely rapped sermon from the pulpit.

Georgia Anne stands confident in a black jacket and black jeans wearing a dark lace scarf and small purple sunglasses, while Declaime sports a football jacket, a faded blue t-shirt, dark baggy jeans, and a black leather flat cap and bandanna.

Between exhortations of “Let the funk set you free!” and “One love!” they both lackadaisically yet sincerely rhyme with one arm holding the mic and the other mechanically poised a foot away from their sides, as if they were each carrying invisible basketballs.

The snares are as futuristic and crisp as a Delorean door slamming shut and are accompanied by planet-hopping basslines and zooming UFO synths.

It’s not until the fourth song of the show that Georgia eventually starts to sing. ‘Uhuru Flight’ from her second full-length album Umsindo and ‘Doobie Down’ from this year’s release Kings Ballad both showcase her unique vocal talents to the crowd. With her large hoop earrings jiggling around underneath her mighty fro like hula hoops scotch-taped to the undercarriage of a hot air balloon in a hurricane, Georgia comes correct as Macy Gray’s cooler younger sister without sounding like Marge Simpson.

A recently-penned Michael Jackson tribute song complete with a joyfully dusty piano loop follows more of the uplifting “Love Your Neighbor!” and “Peace on Earth!” in-between-songs shouts from Declaime, while their DJ spins more unconventional, gritty beats and basslines that has your ribcage shaking like a piggy bank in the vicinity of an ice-cream van.

The surprise moment of the set however comes when an adolescent audience member wearing oversized, thick-framed hipster glasses and a black hoodie, calling himself Jah Jigga, rushes the stage from the crowd and spits some pre-voice-breaking bars over Muldrow’s beats. Clearly not without skills, Jah Junior holds his freestyle game in close check and it’s an apt contribution to the weird, wild, and beautiful world that Mr and Mrs Georgia Anne Muldrow inhabit.

High: With a classic piano sample that sounds too slow and an odd drum shuffle that sounds too fast, ‘Roses’ is still Georgia’s biggest hit, featuring beats so tight it sounds like she’s rhythmically snapping shut Tupperware lids as she sings “When I’m down I just draw some roses on a pretty piece of pay-perrrr!”.

Low: The slightly awkward ‘encore’ that had Georgia and Declaime walking off the stage early and their tour DJ playing some (really rather good) instrumental spaced-out lounge jazz-hop to run out the clock.

In a Tweet: The tones of Erykah Badu, the fiery polemic of Ursula Rucker, and the soul of Otis Redding all in the front row at George Jetson’s church.

Did you see Georgia Anne Muldrow at Bumbershoot? What was your highlight? Let KEXP know in the Comments section below!

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