We're at the point where any music you want can come out of any THING you want, at any time of the day, at any price you're willing to entertain. It’s beyond overwhelming — which is to say off the bat: There's something just nice about a good old-fashioned FM radio show like Beats In Space.
Every Tuesday night at 10:30pm, anybody within radius of WNYU's transmitter can tune into 89.1 FM for this dance music show hosted by the DJ Tim Sweeney. Tim has had the show since he was a college student—so 15 years now. And while he'd bristle at the idea of himself being a "renowned DJ" (he is) or even an "in-demand DJ" (ditto), I'll say that if you love dance music, few things are better than Tim’s show. You can also listen online afterwards. But especially when I listen live, it feels a lot like eavesdropping. Special guests drop in to play records (Prosumer, Seth Troxler), regulars swing by and heckle (Juan Maclean, Doug Lee), and at least one recurring caller, a temperamental man named Victor from Washington Heights, weighs in with praise and less-than-praise. This is as close as you can get to a clubhouse — the sound and soundtrack of friends playing new songs for each other, talking about music, razzing each other for things you can't quite understand.
It’s easy, for me at least, to see why Tim became the center of all this. I and other music people are drawn to his quiet enthusiasm, his devotion to craft, his sense of New York history. He’s had good mentors too. Tim interned with the legendary Steve Stein — Steinski — who legendarily would take a whole week to prep a single two-hour radio mix. Tim also interned at DFA Records under James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy, right when things were getting good. (Trivia: You can hear Tim play sax on the DFA remix of Radio 4's "Dance To The Underground.”) From there he became a mainstay at the legendary DFA parties in the early and mid 00s, and developed a reputation as a DJ not for his skill or taste but for his empathy—having a sixth sense to him about when he could take a party to another plane. Like the time he played the first Holy Ghost! 12” at Studio B... I was there!