Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Phelimuncasi: Ama Gogela [Nyege Nyege Tapes, 2022]
Having named their first true album after a South African killer bee they report can possess you if it gets under your skin, this seasoned mixed-gender trio of gqom activists enlisted a small phalanx of Durban producers to spruce up its get-down. Few non-Zulu speakers will find anything here that obliterates the memory of a lead track where all three leads chant "I don't feel my legs/I don't feel my hands" as if that's liberation enough while the music lasts. But just about every one of these 11 five-minuteish tracks is hooked in addition to a vocal outburst if not catchphrase. Sure the beats vary too. But not like the hooks, which serve the essential function of piling extra flavors onto a groove that never quits. A-