Home Read Classic Album Review: DJ Swamp | Never is Now

Classic Album Review: DJ Swamp | Never is Now

The turntablist’s sampledelic approach favours songwriting over pyrotechnics.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


For his day job, DJ Swamp spins the wheels of steel for Beck — which presumably helps explain the robo-disco hip-hop vibe and stream-of-goofiness lyrics that dominate his debut solo album.

But if you’re expecting Never is Now to be a bunch of leftover Loser beats and Odelay scratches, think again. Darker and more authentically hip-hop than his slacker-pop boss, Swamp takes a sampledelic yet distinctly melodic approach that favours songwriting over sheer pyrotechnics. Which is not to say he can’t beat-juggle and scratch with the best and the rest of them — just that he knows there’s more to life and music than a well-executed cross-fade. Ultimately, Swamp’s musicality creates a sound that suggests Kid Koala and Beck getting down with The Beastie Boys at Mix Master Mike’s. He ain’t no loser, baby.