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Pre – Order Link: https://nyegenyegetapes.bandcamp.com/album/ama-gogela In South Africa, the Ama Gogela is large bee known for its strength and ferociousness. Durban trio Phelimuncasi use this avatar as a metaphor for their music. “We believe our music is irresistible, you can’t sleep or chill while it’s playing,” they explain. “The same thing happens when that bee hits you hard. Once it stings you, you can’t manage it, it’s painful. It’s like our songs – once you listen, you can’t stop.” “Ama Gogela” follows Phelimuncasi’s acclaimed 2020 debut “2013-2019”, and once again spotlights the dynamism of Durban’s globally prestigious gqom scene. Based in the Mlaszi township, vocalists Malathon, Makan Nana and Khera initially came together in 2012, driven by a desire to illustrate and soundtrack their leftist activist work. Together with some of their neighborhood’s most influential producers, they’ve become notorious for releasing some of Durban’s most exceptional music, harnessing gqom’s dancefloor futurism and South Africa’s ancient theatrical and storytelling traditions simultaneously. This comprehensive full-length again links Phelimuncasi with regular collaborators DJ MP3 and DJ Scoturn, adding locals DJ Nhlekzin, DJ Ndakx, and SVBKVLT-signed South Korean producer NET GALA as a wildcard. And despite the range of individual talent, the album is exceptionally cohesive, woven together by the trio’s conversational call-and-response vocals and unforgettable energy. Phelimuncasi’s philosophy is evident immediately on ‘I don’t feel like legs’, as the three MCs alternate between their local language isiZulu and English over police sirens, thick bass and dense percussive chatter. It serves as a call to action for anyone listening, whether you’re able to unpack the lyrics or not – like the album’s namesake, it’s got a sting that won’t let you escape. NET GALA’s idiosyncratic sounds underpin the early highlight ‘Ngiphupha Izinto’, linking ballroom rhythms with early electronic squelches and psy-trance bass to accompany Phelimuncasi’s dextrous lyrical back-and-forth. After that brief detour, we’re back in Durban with the DJ Scoturn-produced ‘Maka Nana’, where throaty-voiced MC Bhejane joins the trio for his first guest spot, gurgling bafflingly over gqom staple syncopated toms and ruffled drones. DJ Ndaxy crafts sneak-attack hooks out of mbira clangs on ‘Kolamula Ukusa’, while Scoturn turns in an inverted bass-heavy slither on ‘Uyaphi WeNano’, allowing guest vocalist Mafethan the space to shine. Phelimuncasi manage the impossible on “Ama Gogela”, meticulously crafting music that’s revolutionary and educational without losing sight of the dancefloor. It’s party music that’s addictive and indelible, fueled by opposition, dissent and a textured understanding of South Africa’s artistic past, present and future.

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