South Africa’s Phelimuncasi to Release Gqom Retrospective on Nyege Nyege Tapes
'Phelimuncasi: 2013—2019' LP is out on September 17
Phelimuncasi formed in 2012 in the Mlaszi township of Durban, South Africa as a trio of Gqom vocalists, Khera, Malathon, and Makan Nana. Their music is imbued with a storytelling tradition that harks back to southern African toyi-toyi, a powerful dance of protest accompanied by rhythmic singing that was used during anti-apartheid demonstration to intimidate police and security forces.
Driven by the urge to create music that “enchants or poisons the audience,” the trio partnered with producers DJ MP3 and DJ Scoturn.
Phelimuncasi: 2013—2019 features nine tracks realized over a period of six years. Five of these, recorded before 2016, are produced by early Gqom legends DJ Scoturn and DJ MP3. Four more tracks, recorded in 2019, are produced with Menzi during a joint residency at Nyege Studios in Uganda.
What establishes this album as a notable work of contemporary South African music is Phelimuncasi’s spontaneous, mantra-like chanting, vibrant Isizulu spoken word, and infectious statements that intensify a sense of revelation and liberation.
Nyege Nyege Tapes is a Kampala, Uganda-based label releasing outsider music from around the region. Earlier this month, they released Duma, a self-titled debut album by Martin Khanja (a.k.a Lord Spike Heart) and Sam Karugu.
01. Ngavele Ngagaxela (prod. by DJ Scoturn)
02. Umahlalela (prod. by DJ Scoturn)
03. Private Party (prod. by Menzi)
04. South Beach eWHEE ft. 004 Da Artist (prod. by DJ Scoturn)
05. I Roof (prod. by Menzi)
06. Sesi Gora (prod. by DJ MP3)
07. GQOM Venus Cemetrary (prod. By Menzi)
08. Umgido (prod. by Menzi)
09. Ungabom Themba Umunutu (prod. by DJ Scoturn)
Phelimuncasi: 2013—2019 LP is out on September 17. Meanwhile, you can pre-order here and stream “Private Party” in full below.