Thursday, 21 July 2011

Trim – I Am [Butterz]

Trim is prolific, this year alone he’s released four mixtapes. The grime scene veteran, ex-Roll Deep member and an undisputed grime war hero that isn’t shy of barring with the best has been on one of late, he seems revitalised as his e work rate suggest. He’s got something to say and the beats to back it up. The last time he hit wax was on an experimental eski-esq banger from Becoming Real and that’s just the tip of the ice-burg when it comes to Trim taking on some seriously out there beats. He’s barred on everyone from Starkey to Harmonic 313 in a quest to explore new ground. Hooking up with Butterz seems natural, they’ve been putting out quality instrumentals the last few years that always hit hard but kept it interesting too plus they’ve been crying out for full vocal treatment after some hardcore radio testing with some fine MCs on Rinse.

Trust Butterz to get some quality cuts from Trim and put them on wax, picking Trim after the garage leaning grime banger ‘Boo You’ from P Money & Blacks is a no brainer. They keep that ‘Phase Two’ vision on track by bringing in the MCs and continues to expand their sound. Here Trim vocals two absolute percy’s from the Butterz impressive back catalogue: TRC’s ‘Skipping Rope’ and D.O.K.’s ‘Chemical Planet’ with a remix of the title track from Birmingham’s Preditah to round off the package.

TRC’s instro does exactly what it says on the label, it’s got that skip and Trim hits his stride with his vocal version ‘I Am’ with a tight flow that matches the supple beat bar for bar. Those midi hi-hats and horns next to those irresistibly funky synth lines have that melancholic vibe that suits the introspective self depreciating bars he spits, lines like ‘Put myself in a pickle and belittle myself, piggy in the middle trying to wiggle myself out, I’m the only one who can let myself down’ or ‘East side we’ve got flees, sniffs, we’ve got weed’ and the chorus ‘this is what I am...’ really fit that down key synth melody. But that track still has that grime edge, since the skip is relentless and the synth bright enough to bring out that dark-side humour Trim has which also means it fits that confidence and bravado of lines such as ‘Trim’s in the rave don’t bring your girl out’, ‘I’m a star I can light the sky, with no fireworks’ or the twisted ‘when I creep I have the whole room crawling’ just as well. It’s Trim being Trim you get what you see.

Preditah turns in a filter heavy remix of ‘I Am’, that still manages to keep that sweeping synth funk but adds a stop start kicking rhythm to replace that energetic bump the original has, it’s got a moody edge to it that suits Trim’s vocals especially on the chorus. The skippy flow Trim brings in his bars play off the laid back widescreen energy of Preditah’s instro to add a nice bit of tension that really teases out the introspection and turns the track from a bumping party track to a late night blazer, the mood is flipped.

The flip ‘Notice Now’ see’s Trim upping the aggression over D.O.K.’s Sonic inspired banger ‘Chemical Planet’, he rides that tough funk with some serious bravado, chatting about how you’ve got to take note and when he goes in like he does on this 12” it’s hard not to agree. If you wade into his stream of mixtapes this year you get sizeable glimpses of just how good Trim is but that star really shines when you get a concentrated dose such as this.

Originally written for Sonic Router.
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