Maeloo, the Dominican producer also known as XK, just surprised us with a brand new set of songs he compiled called USA TRIP. He dropped his first release ネオ ンの夢 (Neon Dreams) only three months ago through pioneering label Stereoptico. The eight-track EP was a colorful and radiating effort that he worked on for two years, and it didn’t only showcase his crisp craftsmanship and creative attention to beat arrangement, it also spoke loud and clear to his love for the Dirty South.

On “F L A $ H I N G F A B E L A,” the first song from his newest release, it seems like Maeloo didn’t quite travel to the States, but to Brazil instead. The track references baile funk with refreshing fluidity. He throws in some of his beloved hip-hop and even a house-like piano chord progression. It’s definitely the standout track.

Maeloo eventually does journey to the USA, since the rest of the songs on USA TRIP have far more American influence. Almost all of them run a little short, and they don’t quite sound like they received the same amount of detailed attention as his work from Neon Dreams. That doesn’t mean they are throwaway pieces at all, though. “U#MOOD” samples female vocals and standout synth stabs that repeat throughout the song, cut and pasted like footwork while standing firmly in trap territory. It ends up sounding bright, playful, and romantic.

M A G I C C I T Y” follows, and it sounds a little harsher and moodier compared to the previous two tracks. A constant airy synth pad thickens the atmosphere, while a more straight up Southern hip-hop beat bumps hard and a “pop that pussy” sample repeats ad infinitum. Closer “GO SLOW” honors its title, bringing the sexy vibes to the EP, but there’s also a trippy quality to it, thanks to the chopped and screwed rap vocal samples. Apart from the opening track, USA TRIP doesn’t show a whole lot of experimentation, but works as further proof of what Maeloo does perfectly. It’s a quality trap production that shows promise for the young beatmaker’s future.

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