Never Is Now
Like a jack-in-the-box on the fritz, DJ Swamp’s debut record springs out like a tomcat and stuns you like an LAPD taser. Although his nasally, Eminem-like voice needs some fine tuning, it’s on the production tip where Swamp shines brighter. 808 plays hopscotch with warbling electro-bass and dominant scratching to provide an assault that is both sinister and chic simultaneously. There wasn’t a track I detested on this entire album, which is rare in such an era of stagnant, derivative music.
The opening “Ring Of Fire” ignites a blistering, mood-shifting jaunt that carries us to the depths of digital funk, drum n’ bass and the almighty turntablist machismo that has made Swamp who he is. His rhymes and delivery are surprisingly fluid and at times quite solid, with well-cut slice of tongue-in-cheek thrown in for good measure. Beck unleashed a beast on us, but unlike Cujo, this multi-faceted maestro’s bark is more damaging than his bite.