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 Dec 8 - 14, 2005 
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Music Magnified

DJ Swamp

By Amy Dalness
DJ Swamp
DJ Swamp

Thursday, Dec. 8, 10 p.m.; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over), free: DJ Swamp is stepping out from behind Beck's turntables with his recent hip-hop release, Never Is Now, and a solo tour. Yes, he played with Beck for four years, but he's not piggybacking off that fame; he's making his own. Never Is Now showcases Swamp's "turntablism" and rapping talents, and it sounds like what nü-metal should be aiming to achieve--a real collaboration of rap and rock. It's dark, hard rock with a kickin' beat and some majorly skilled scratching. In an interview with Alexander Laurence, Swamp said he was working as a street sweeper, even after winning the USA DMC Championship in 1996, until he posed as a reporter and dropped Beck a demo. Following in that "make my own opportunities" vein, Swamp wrote, produced, recorded and performed everything in Never Is Now. His life performance is self-produced, too—and it's much more than dark hair hanging in his face with an occasional hand gesture. He is a pyromaniac; well, a self-described "fire retard." He lights his hands on fire, breaks LPs--and then uses them as instruments--and, apparently, scratches his tongue with phonograph needles. Since it's low budget, he doesn't use flame retardant and has been hospitalized (though I don't know if Burt's allows fire displays of any kind during performances). In "Ring of Fire," Swamp calls himself "the inferno, burning down the show.” I think he's got a theme going here. So mod-clash dance partygoers: Be ready for a different reason to dance Thursday night. It's not the kind of DJ experience we often see in Burque.

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