Foggy Notions Presents Revival Season


Date: 23 Aug 2024
Time: 8PM (The Cellar)
Ticket Price: Buy BUY TICKET

Foggy Notions Presents

Revival Season

The Workman’s Cellar
Friday 23rd August

 

Fresh from supporting Kneecap on their US Tour Heavenly Records Revival
Season make their Irish Debut this August.

Fresh from supporting Kneecap across the USA Heavenly Records Revival
Season make their Irish Debut this August.

Foreseen by oracles and foretold by angels, the coming together of
rapper Brandon “BEZ” (B Easy) Evans and beatmaker/producer Jonah Swilley
was, by their own admission, a divine appointment. Both halves musically
and spiritually forged in the twin flames of Georgia׳s Pentecostal
churches and grassroots hip-hop scene, Revival Season tell
straight-shooting tales of our golden age — chop, cops, badass bitches,
self-snitches; drug-dealing and revolution — chronicling and critiquing
the culture over baselines and beats that kick squarely in the teeth
with a platform boot.

“3 out of 5 southern musicians started in the church it feels like, you
know?” reflects Evans. “First time I did anything musical was in a
church. We were an every Wednesday and Sunday type of family for a good
minute.” Swilley, too — the child, grandchild and great-grandchild of
ministers — pinpoints the rhythms of a church upbringing, in which he
learnt to play the drums, as the beginnings of a musical life.

Each element expertly balanced on the other, each creator an equal half
of the whole, The Golden Age of Self-Snitching thrums with the fervent
energy of creativity in perpetual motion, its sound constantly evolving
— sometimes aerodynamic and slick (‘Last Dance’), sometimes jolting,
glitchy and stuttering (‘The Path’), sometimes surprisingly jangly (a
punk bass riff pops out of the slowly built ‘Look Out Below’ like a
jack-in-the-box), and sometimes with a rattling, syncopated beat
(‘Message in a Bottle’) — but never at a still. And if its trajectory is
daring, coasting the hip-hop vehicle into unexpected bends (who could
have predicted, for instance, the cribbing of Barry White lyrics for a
squealy-guitarred song about opioid abuse?), it is never without the
firm, intentional steer of a masterful hand on the wheel. They are
always, as Evans puts it, “racing towards something, capturing the speed
and having fun with it like a racecar driver would, not like a panicked
freeway driver in between two semi-trucks” — an outlook nodded to by the
NASCAR race suits the band don on The Golden Age…’s cover, and on
stage. Having been captivated by Asif Kapadia’s 2010 film about the
Brazilian motor-racing champion during the making of the album, Evans
even at one point Speed[s] off like I’m Ayrton Senna (‘Golden
Silverware’).

Much in the spirit of Swilley’s teenage bedroom beatmaking, The Golden
Age.. was pieced together largely self-sufficiently, written both
remotely and in person, and recorded between a temporary studio space in
a health centre and an ad-hoc setup in Swilley’s dining room. A skeleton
team of outside musicians contributed additional parts — with Jordan
Manly [Mattiel] and Rupert Brown [Roy Ayres, Raf Rundell] on drums,
Shaheed Goodie on guest MC vocals for the jagged, spiralling ‘Pump’, and
Raf Rundell [The 2 Bears], with whom Revival Season had previously made
the Outernational mixtape (“equal parts Prince Paul and King Tubby”) on
hand as “vibe consultant”, bringing additional production to a handful
of tracks.

Invigorating their listeners with a sound that never settles, the making
of The Golden Age of Self-Snitching was also somewhat an act of
self-revival for Revival Season: an exorcism of the disillusionment that
comes with making music in the shadow of current mainstream hip-hop
culture. “There’s these people that document what’s going on in hip-hop
from the outside — they kinda pose as news, they dress the part and they
talk the part, but beyond the surface it’s just people that are coming
from outside the culture to profit off of pain” levels Evans.

“Everybody’s racing to do the most, to be the most, to show the most —
The Golden Age of Self-Snitching is a commentary on that. Who’s gonna
get the biggest prize for telling on themselves, exploiting themselves?
People are fed into a machine that chews them and spits money out the
other end — it’s destruction for profit.” What’s a dollar for your
dignity? he questions on ‘Chop’, …Pushing they marketing dollars on
drill / Sitting back watching your people get killed / Your portion
ain’t barely providing a meal — and on ‘Love to See It’, a song which
decries voyeuristic consumption of suffering, he laments: Y’all be on
some trauma shit and acting like it’s trending news / Love to see a
young n***a suffer it got a million views, following up with the
warning: The revolution will not be under your notifications.

The cash-grabbing limb of the scene is one that the group actively
resist, choosing instead to be bastions of the pioneering culture and
sound which evolved around them in the mid-to-late nineties in the
Southern States. “What I came up listening to turned out to be so
pivotal” continues Evans. “I was in Georgia during the time of Dungeon
Family coming up, and that turned out to be a big shifting point in
hip-hop. We heard a lot of this stuff before the world, the way of
thinking, the way of dress, the movement, the sound, we were there for
it…Prior to that the South was really gated out, and as time has
progressed it’s become more of a dominant sound, where almost everything
in the genre comes from that time period and the sound and the attitude
that was built there. All that stuff was on the back of really strong
principles, on the back of the home-cooked, country-fied, soulful
background that was added into the hip-hop formula from the South.”

“Dungeon Family, OutKast, CeeLo, Organized Noize”, concurs Swilley,
“…they kind of allowed for us to exist. We feel comfortable to do what
we do now because of people like that, and I think we’re just trying to
carry that torch.” Evans counters: “We are the torch!”

And so it is that Revival Season are the curators, keepers, orators and
progressors of their own history, embodying the canon and pushing its
boundaries. Mic in hand on a stage (See this light keep coming out of my
mouth, as Evans says on ‘Stars’), they are not so very different from
the ministers who, delivering their message with fervour, first showed
Jonah Swilley and Brandon Evans the way.