Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Tribute to DJ Swing

Found out early yesterday morning that a DJ friend of ours, DJ Swing, had passed on. Swing was one of the best hip-hop and r&b DJ's this side of the Atlantic and he used be a regular visitor to Cork in the late 90's. He had fought a long long battle against Multiple Myeloma and despite an incredible recovery earlier this year after a bone marrow transplant, he had a relapse and after being admitted back to hospital he died on Wednesday. Coming so soon after the deaths of young music legends like Jay Dee and Lynded David Hall, this is another sad loss for hip-hop and soul music.

Swing will be sadly missed by us here in Cork, Especially Mandy and the Religion/Le Soul crew who first brought him over to Cork for many gigs in the Attic and places like that. He hung out in Sir Henry's Back Bar and spun a few tunes with myself at Sweat another time while he played a legendary gig at a packed Metropole hotel at the Southern Soul and Disco Festival alongside myself, Trevor Nelson and Norman Jay (check my dodgy pics from an old photo album!) My good mate from London, Gilly, also had us both on the rooster at the Dublin leg of his Fresh N'Funky night in HQ (now Spirit), and we played many great nights up there with the likes of Colin Francis, Mani Norte, Brian Norman and of course Da Firin' Squad, all DJ's who will be feeling this loss badly.

On a personal level I had many dealings with Swing outside the clubs too, and he was the main man at the pioneering hip-hop label Tommy Boy for awhile, hooking yours truly up with the upfront promo's by the likes of De La Soul. He also generously hooked me me up with one of his contacts at Puma in London, who sent me free trainers, way before they regained their popularity a few years ago! Swing was a guy who always went out of his way to help others, people like myself who were not as relevant to the London scene, stood and walked tall alongside him, because with Swing all people remained equal. It was a small point but one which I've always remembered when dealing with younger DJ's and people myself, cats like Swing were'nt into the superstar bullshit that sometimes pervades in the music industry.

When reflecting about Swing these last 24 hours, the thing that I remember most is his smile! Infectious is the word that I'm looking for! I'm gonna play a few tunes for ya later on and i'll be thinking about that smile that lit up the dancefloor as much as the records you were playing.

To paraphrase the Pharcyde
"Rock on Dilla, rock, rock on
Rock on Lynden, rock rock on
and Rock on, DJ Swing, rock on"

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    I'm a DJ from Cork in Ireland. I work with RedFM, presenting Red Drive, The Hitlist and my specialist show, Black on Red. I'm probably best known for being one of the main hip-hop/soul DJ's in Cork and Ireland. I've been DJing in Cork since the early 90's in legendary clubnights such as Sweat in Sir Henrys, Mor Disco, Free La Funk, Yo Latino and also Jam and Jam Junior at the Savoy and the Pavilion. I've also held down long term residencies at clubs around Ireland such as Brown Sugar at the Kitchen in Dublin, U-Turn at Ri Ra in Dublin, Jazz Juice at the GPO in Galway, Thompson Garage in Belfast, the Soul Clinic, Dee-Bop, Meltdown and Mo Bounce in Limerick and i've played abroad in the United States and the U.K. on numerous occasions. I also write a music column for the Evening Echo and i'm a regular contributor to the U.K.'s Blues and Soul, the longest running black music magazine in the world. These days i run the Pavilion, a music venue in Cork, which hosts my Jam night every few Fridays also you can catch me at