- Among all of the rightfully ecstatic praise being thrown the way of Jus-Ed and company these days, one name has been mysteriously absent from much of the conversation. It's funny, too, because it's probably Ed's favorite producer of all: Jenifa Mayanja, his wife. (He wouldn't dare say otherwise, right?) As Ed has built Underground Quality, Mayanja has been doing the same with Bu-Mako Recordings—in collaboration with Mookie Kayam—which has almost exclusively featured her own work throughout its short history.
As you might expect from her husband's output, Mayanja's work often leans toward the deeper side of things, and Close Encounters, her latest, is no exception. The title track's dark beat is softened by acidic flourishes that tantalizingly fade from view before ever fully taking shape and vocals from Mayanja that are shrouded in smoke. "Crying Game" starts off with a lovely syncopation and gets even lovelier from there with some unexpected chords dropping in for a visit. It has the same general feel of most of the trad deep house around, but Mayanja is clearly working hard to differentiate herself from her peers. On "Crying Game" and "Bearings," the upbeat track that follows, Mayanja's closest comparison of sound is a guy she first introduced to Ed, Fred P. Both share a similar propensity for putting their own touch to tried-and-true formulae.
A Close Encounters
B1 Crying Game