Matt FX and Melika: A Love Beginning — Single Review

With the help of TikTok, the internet in general, and this past year of isolation, lo-fi hip-hop beats have taken over every corner of music at this point. I’d be willing to guess that at least 50% of Gen Z alone listens to these mixes while doing homework, or just cleaning. In Matt FX’s newest release, “A Love Beginning” (paired with “Pero No Te Quiero”), this obsession melds with early 2000s techno and hip-hop trends from the likes of bands like the Black Eyed Peas. But while the injection of club-like energy into chill beats may seem counterintuitive, this rendition balances the calm with the intense into a bright and flowing piece of electronic pop.

The very recognizable, twinkling, and wavy introduction of “A Love Beginning” tames the start to an otherwise-bouncy piece of club-pop. This periodic break from the soon-endless noise establishes an initial breeziness that the track comes back to at multiple points later on. In the meantime though, funky, deep beats standard of early 2000s techno and modern latinx pop drive the track underneath silky layers of Melika’s voice. While the vibrant synths/chords are still maintained throughout the entire track, they begin to fade out, overwritten by the much quicker and tighter electronic percussion.

Though the individual pieces that place this gorgeous, utopian world in your head eventually step back, Matt FX does a great job reinstating their influence later on. Whether through small, highlighted samples, or the eventual deletion of all other instrumentation, there’s a clear intent to continue what the track started with: subtle, lo-fi, but radiant hip-hop production.

Matt FX’s newest work proves his long and impressive resume isn’t a fluke. The idea to bring together two completely different realms of hip-hop, from two different time periods, with two different energies, doesn’t sound fulfilling or doable. Yet hit willingness to experiment paid off with some help from classic lo-fi production, clever song structures, and a great vocal performance from Melika to back it all up.

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