In-Demand DJ Swamp Steps Out Solo
Acclaimed turntablist DJ Swamp will on Sept. 18 release "Never is Now" on his own Decadent Records. The 16-track set, composed and performed largely without the use of samples, is Swamp's first full-lAcclaimed turntablist DJ Swamp will on Sept. 18 release "Never is Now" on Lakeshore Records. The 16-track set, composed and performed largely without the use of samples, is Swamp's first full-length album for public consumption, following several breakbeat albums released to the DJ market. In support of the set, Swamp will embark on a handful of tour dates criss-crossing the U.S., including a lecture and performance Sept. 12 during the annual CMJ Music Marathon in New York.
Besides his trademark scratching and dark beats, "Never is Now" features seven vocal tracks written by the Cleveland native, who tackles gothic subject matter with a comic-book sense of humor. Digital videos have been shot for the pyrotechnic-inspired "Ring of Fire" and futuristic "Worship the Robots."
"I like to consider myself an artist," Swamp tells Billboard.com. "I just focus on DJing like it's art and don't worry about who's the best."
Swamp, who has collaborated with Beck, the Crystal Method and Better than Ezra, among others, made a name for himself in 1996 by winning the U.S. DMC turntablist championship. Virtually unknown at the time, Swamp's winning routine included fierce beat juggling and ended with the DJ smashing his records to bits. Since then his live shows have become increasingly theatrical, incorporating everything from fire blowing to self-mutilation to classic rock riffs, in addition to more traditional hip-hop fare.
Swamp can currently be heard scratching it up on the Crystal Method's "Name of the Game," which is No. 12 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music: Club Play chart, as well as Better than Ezra's "Extra Ordinary," which sits at No. 21 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 tally.
Here are DJ Swamp's tour dates:
Aug. 24: San Francisco (Club Townsend / DMC U.S. finals)
Aug. 29: Cleveland (Agora Theatre, w/ the Crystal Method)
Aug. 31: Vancouver (Salmon Creek Arena / Revival Rave)
Sept. 12: New York (CMJ lecture, performance at Red Bull Music Academy)
Sept. 13: New York (B.B. King's, w/ Mixmaster Mike, Afu-Ra, X-ecutioners)
Oct. 6: Devore, Calif. (Smoke Out festival)
Oct. 13: Oakland (Smoke Out festival)