1-800 Dinosaur are the production collective and label based around a central association with its member and founder James Blake. Whilst Trim is one of grime’s most acclaimed though illusive MCs having spent years in the game but never released an album and always gazed in at the scene from a distance. The outsider pairing of 1-800 Dinosaur and Trim seems on paper like a perfect fit and based on the evidence on show here it is.
The production from 1-800 Dinosaur is as unique as you’d expect it to be based on Blake’s solo output. However unlike Blake’s solo material this release avoids whimsy in favour of dark and aggressive subtlety. Another notable difference between this release and that of Blake’s main material is the pace at which this album flies past. Often Blake’s albums feel overlong or meandering, but here the 1-800 collaborative keep things short, simple and effective. RPG stands out as a brilliant example of the combination of experimentalism, subtlety and aggression.
Trim’s flow is stark, pronounced and brilliant. His delivery stands out in the face of a growing list of MCs now gaining mainstream attention. There are none of the Americanisms of Skepta whilst his vocal delivery is much darker than Kano’s. It’s a flow, which stands out because of its uniqueness and this album is all the better that.
Amongst a list of positives what really makes Trim stand out head and shoulders above his rival MCs is the clarity of pronunciation in his flow. When Trim spits everything sounds considered and clear, rather than rushed and garbled. It makes for an appealing listen and leaves you feeling that Trim is attempting to engage with the listener rather than batter their ears to death with a hype-man flow.
This description may make 1-800 Dinosaur Presents Trim sound like an all too serious affair. However, many of the lyrics whilst wrapped in darkness contain humorous put downs and shots at weaker MCs. With food based metaphors such as Burger King and Battered Fish being gleefully employed. There is also a cheeky reference to Blake’s previous song the Wilhelm Scream, which is delivered with some tongue in cheek wit.
Alongside Gaika, Kano and Skepta this release from Trim goes even further to prove that 2016 really is a standout year for grime. It’s no wonder that when faced with the high standard of grime albums this year, Wiley decided to scrap his. The bar has been raised in 2016 and nothing other than brilliant will get you noticed. Thankfully for Trim, this release is exactly that.