Trim / Pritch & Trim I Am + Stereotype / Kiss My Arse
Reviewed by Laurent Fintoni Source: (Playground)
One of the best - and often underrated - MCs to come out of London’s grime scene in the last decade, Trim returns with not one but two releases across the Butterz and Planet Mu labels this summer. Boy is it good to have him back. First up is his release on Butterz, “I Am”. On the ‘A’ side Trim vocals TRC’s “Skipping Rope”; riding the hyperactive instrumental, led by feverish percussion and synth tabs, with uplifting rhymes that neatly summarise all that is great about his flow – from tongue twisting verses to hilarious pauses and puns. The flip side sees LV – fresh off the back of their “Routes” album on Keysound – twisting the riddim up, keeping its uplifting, bouncy vibe but injecting it with a deliciously addictive melody. Perfect for the summer and the clubs. All in all, a short but very sweet release on the increasingly strong Butterz label.
Following this there’s a brand new 12” on Planet Mu – a less obvious home for Trim on paper – which sees the MC team up with none other than Mark Pritchard, aka Harmonic 313 (and a thousand other aliases). My surprise at discovering the two had collaborated was quickly surpassed by my pleasure at the strength of the release. In contrast to the Butterz release, which follows more from Trim’s previous grime output, the Pritch & Trim 12” on Mu is a hip hop affair with Mark delivering an instrumental on “Stereotype” in the vein of his Harmonic 33 releases back on Alphabet Zoo, updated with bigger bass. Over a rolling beat and looped keys Trim proves that his incredible delivery and flow is also impeccable on slower riddims, this time focusing on stereotypes and prejudices. At the time of writing this, London’s been burning (in many parts literally) for four days and Trim’s rhymes are oddly relevant and poignant.
It’s the flip side though – “Kiss My Arse” – that very much wins it for me, easily the best Trim track since the “Soulfood” mixtapes. Pritchard delivers another rolling production, this time upping the tempo with punching bass kicks and Arabic melodies that give it a flavour reminiscent of Pinch’s “Qawwali” at a slower tempo, especially on the chorus. Trim continues his incredible vocal showcase, this time broaching his previous history with Roll Deep - rumours and the likes - in the process dealing with his detractors in the best way possible: proving that by just doing ‘me, Trim van’ he is better than most.
It’s funny, I was lamenting the lack of new Trim – aside from recent mixtapes which I’ve not been madly keen on – and then all of a sudden two strong releases drop. Hopefully this is far from the end as he proves to be – alongside Wiley – one of the most fascinating and enjoyable voices to have come out of the grime scene.
- Eskmo - Let Them Sing
- Ikonika - Smuck
- Geiom & Shortstuff - No Hand Signals
- Starkey - OK Luv
- Raffertie - 7th Dimension
- Ceephax Acid Crew - United Acid Emirates
- Kuedo - Dream Sequence E.P.
- Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
- Neil Landstrumm - Lord For £39
- Distance - Repercussions
- Last Step - 1961
- Mrs Jynx - The Standoffish Cat
- Venetian Snares - My Downfall (Original Soundtrack)
- Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
- iTAL tEK - Cyclical
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline
- Venetian Snares - Miss Balaton
- Various Production & Virus Syndicate - Apollo/Neva Argue
- Sunken Foal - Fermented Condiments
- Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches
- Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
- The Gasman - Superlife
- Eero Johannes - Eero Johannes
- Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay