DJ Swamp burns through Billings

In a slew of familiar favorites, from the Bee Gee’s “Staying Alive” to Boy Meets Girl’s “Waiting For a Star to Fall” to classic rock from Journey and Pink Floyd, DJ Michelangelo mashed his way through an impressive set of tunes at the Railyard on Saturday night. The Bozeman-based DJ (by way of Santa Barbara, Calif.) prepped a small but respectable turnout for Los Angeles-based DJ Swamp.

Swamp didn’t make an appearance until 1 a.m., and those that remained to catch the once top U.S. DJ talent were graced with quite a showing. There was only a momentary silence as the DJs swapped places.

A tall, stoic figure cloaked in black, DJ Swamp began his evening with a core of metal riffs. Noticeably absence was the presence of electronics; quite literally he worked from two turntables and a microphone, to quote his former employer Beck.

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DJ Swamp makes two Montana appearances

In two unique Montana appearances, turntable scratch artist DJ Swamp will perform Friday in Billings and Saturday in Bozeman with opening support from Bozeman-based DJ Michelangelo.

A hip-hop/drum and bass artist, DJ Swamp begin his turntable career in 1996 when he was named the top U.S. DJ for his turntablism by DMC, a showcase for global DJ talents. He served as Beck‘s DJ for four years (a slot he landed after posing as a reporter to slip Beck his demo), and in 2001 departed the band to release his debut album “Never is Now,” described as a “weirdly brilliant piece of gansta-goth-metal-hip-hop” by Stuff Magazine.

The DJ has also spent time in the Crystal Method, and has an eclectic appearance roster in song, including tracks with The Dandy Worhals, DEVO, Hanson, Kid Rock, and Katy Perry, to name a few.

Onstage the DJ has been known to be a bit of a record breaking rapping pyro, and to have violent on-stage fits. From his website: “Breakbeats, scratching, juggling, and mutilating LPs and vinyl without losing the beat are all a part of a day at the ‘office’ for Swamp.” His mixes feature artists from the Beastie Boys to Portishead, sampled between a gothic-esque hip-hop inspired drum and bass/jungle beats.

While currently not on tour, the DJ is making special appearances in Billings at the Railyard on Friday and at the Zebra in Bozeman Saturday. The Billings show begins at 9 p.m. Tickets, costing $10, are available at the door.