Phelimuncasi formed in 2012 in the Umlazi township of Durban South Africa. 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.

Their genre-pushing album that was released in 2020 on Nyege Nyege Tapes, is a retrospective of Gqom music featuring nine dense, radical tracks realized over a period of six years. It's a major work of contemporary South African underground music that'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.

©Fifty Lab Music Festival 2023