Crosstown Rebels welcomes Manqo to the fold this November with a standout release: Breaking Hearts. On remix duty is one of South Africa’s most esteemed musical exponents, Black Coffee, who makes a welcome return to the label.
Manqo are the mysterious duo that should never have existed. The result of a chance encounter combined with a creative impulse. Or as the word literally translates, an ‘imperfection’. A mistake. Two acquaintances who quickly realised that the result of their varied musical tastes and styles was a blend of soulful atmospheres and beats completely beyond the realms of their own expectation.
Breaking Hearts is the second release to see the light of day from the pair. The first, Won’t Change, being a collaboration with Keinemusik’s Rampa, released on the Berlin collective’s VOD imprint and quickly amassing over three-hundred-thousand streams on Spotify.
Naturally, it wasn’t long before the allure of the unidentified duo caught the attention of Crosstown Rebels head Damian Lazarus, with Breaking Hearts becoming the first of two EPs to be released on the label.
The near eight-minute original begins life with a subtly-building, stripped back bassline groove and shimmering hi-hats. An echoing vocal melody introduces the track’s main motif – a soulful and tender voice that flows mellifluously over the developing beat but somehow seems detached from the comforting groove beneath it; a distant memory that tells a tale of love lost, cold hearts and broken promises. Black Coffee’s remix retains the ethereal qualities of the original, epitomising the emotive, club-ready style with which he has become best known.
Little needs to be said about South Africa’s Black Coffee. A ‘DJ Awards’ winner and multiple album producer, he has become a globally recognised artist thanks to a consistent schedule of quality releases on imprints such as Crosstown Rebels, Keinemusik and Ultra to name a few.
Manqo’s first offering with Crosstown Rebels has cemented the pair as a rising musical force – an instantly recognisable sound that belies their short time together, but tells us that their music was destined to be heard. For now we can only listen to the story unfold as it writes itself, one chance encounter at a time.
Breaking Hearts is out on Crosstown Rebels on November 26th 2021 (digital).