Uganda’s Nyege Nyege Tapes will release a new album from Rey Sapienz & The Congo Techno Ensemble.

Rey Sapienz, the founder of Hakuna Kulala, Nyege Nyege’s sub-label, cut his teeth as a young rapper in Congo. When he was eight years old, the Democratic Republic was plunged into the Second Congo War, and the conflict lasted five years, leaving an indelible mark on east Africa. But Sapienz endured, and when he finished school, he headed to nearby Kampala, Uganda to collaborate with local producers. When civil war broke out back home he was forced to extend his stay in Uganda; since then, he has been teaching his Ableton skills to Kampala’s young producers and releasing EPs, the last coming in September 2019.

For his debut album, Na Zala Zala, Sapienz travels beyond the avant beatscapes of his early material. Alongside traditional percussionist Papalas Palata and rapper Fresh Dougis, he has formed The Congo Techno Ensemble, utilizing their skills and experience to offer a statement that speaks to the past, present, and future of the Democratic Republic of Congo. These tracks break open the stories all three artists accumulated while there, “augmenting radioactive techno-dancehall beats with radical, open-hearted words and rhymes,” we’re told.


01. Dancehall Pigme
02. Esala Rien
03. Eza Makambo
04. Posa Na Bika
05. Zuwa Ba Risk
06. Na Zala Zala
07. Santonge
08. Minzoto

Na Zala Zala LP is scheduled for July 16 release. Meanwhile, you can stream “Eza Makambo” in full below and pre-order here.