Phelimuncasi formed in 2012 in the Mlaszi township of Durban South Africa as a trio of Gqom vocalists comprised of twins Makan Nana and Khera and Malathon.
Their music is definitely enchanting and potent, richly imbued with an immense storytelling tradition that harks back to southern African toyi-toyi: a powerful dance of protest and struggle accompanied by rhythmic singing that was used during anti-apartheid demonstration to intimidate police and security forces. No surprise that Phelimuncasi have been calling to perform at many political functions for the African National Congress and South African left wing Pan Africanist party EFF (Economic Freedom Fighter).
Their genre-pushing album to be released in September 2020 on Nyege Nyege Tapes, is a retrospective of Gqom music featuring nine dense, radical tracks realized over a period of six years. But what establishes this album as a major work of contemporary South African underground music is Phelimuncasi’s spontaneous, mantra-like chanting, vibrant Isizulu spoken word and infectious statements that intensify and infuse a sense of revelation and liberation throughout the whole album. Phelimuncasi for sure expands the cerebral boundaries of a genre they helped pioneer and bring it further outside of the continent.