The independent fanzine telling the authentic story of British underground music

TRENCH’s passionate coverage of grime, hip hop, and newer genres like drill is driven by its founders’ core belief in DIY culture

In recent years, British underground music has undergone a creative renaissance, with a new generation of MCs entering the grime and hip hop scenes and filling venues with thousands of fans, and new genres like afroswing and the drill emerge and flourish. Yet for all the columns that have been devoted to these musical movements, mainstream media coverage has been mediocre at best, and actively harmful at worst – just look at the gross fear who is currently being whipped against exercise by the worst elements of Britain’s conservative media establishment.

TRENCH, however, is on a mission to change that. Released in September of last year by Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson and Laura ‘Hyperfrank’ Brosnan, TRENCH is an independent publication created by and for people who have actually spent time on the stage. “We wanted to create a space that is really invested in underground music and youth culture,” explains Hyperfrank. “Over the past few years we’ve seen a sudden spike in interest in grime music and grime culture, but half of the reporting on it is lazy, symbolic, and has problematic tones. Most journalists and photographers would not know their recharges from their ‘Woooo Riddim’, not to mention the effects of their coded language. Rather than seeing the underground music scene as a phase and a trend, we like to see it as our core.

JP and Hyperfrank met ten years ago at Dirty Canvas, a grime party held at the ICA in London. JP has been a music journalist for a decade and is currently UK Editor-in-Chief for Complex, while Hyperfrank is a journalist and photographer who captured many ascendant grime MCs while mainstream voices still viewed the genre as a failure. “Journalism is our passion, that’s where we come from,” says JP. “It’s a natural thing for us to publish a long read on British grime or exercise at 3 am. There is a place for the written word, and when it comes to British black music – because we’ve been doing it for so long, people will be careful what we have to say, or what our writers say, just because JP and Hyperfrank are behind! I’m not saying you brag, but when you build a respected name for yourself as a taste maker or critic – and you do it with your heart – people will attract to you.

TRENCHThe website of is knowledgeable, passionate and visually dazzling, filling a space that was once occupied by influential magazines but since disappeared as RWD, The face, and SUPER SUPER. Aesthetically, TRENCH keeps it real, reflecting JP and Hyperfrank’s belief in DIY culture. “We’re not trying here to sell you a fantasy or a dream,” Hyperfrank says. “We always shoot on location, wherever people are. We rarely direct shoots or project what we want the people we are featuring to look like. Take a look at our report Daniel Kaluuya – we met him in West London for a coffee and went out for a catch-up and the photos were taken during our conversation.

Taking things in the physical realm, TRENCH recently launched their very first printed zine. Issue 1 is all about a cover star, D Double E, a grime MC and DJ and a scene legend (“My favorite MC and everyone’s favorite MC”, as Hyperfrank puts it). As well as featuring a lengthy interview with the artist, the zine also comes with D Double E stickers. “Obviously we’re primarily an online magazine,” explains JP, “but we felt the need to create something tangible that people can look back on for years to come and still smile. You will feel like you are 16 again! “

TRENCHS independent ethics are especially vital at a time when large sums of money are increasingly becoming the norm in the UK music scene. When artist success is judged by streaming metrics and brand collaborations happen more and more frequently, it’s critical that there are publications that can look beyond it all and support what really matters. . “We’re inspired by the DIY culture, taking everything out and keeping the basics, celebrating your passions and making them work using the people around you,” says Hyperfrank. “It’s so important for us to interconnect with different worlds and to make things accessible to the young creatives who arrive. “

TRENCH number 001 with D Double E is out now

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