God bless the radio. From Desert Island Discs to John Peel, Radio Caroline to Rinse FM – the radio has brought ears unparalleled joy far longer than television, YouTube, Soundcloud or Spotify. What keeps it thriving though are the tastemakers – the Peels, the Petersons, the Hobbs – the personalities that musicians aspire to be noticed by. Radio has the quality control that the internet lacks, and Tim Sweeney is one of those very tastemakers who has now flown the underground music flag for fifteen years.
Broadcasting on New York University’s WNYU Radio, Sweeney’s legendary Beats in Space show (Tuesdays 22:30-01:00 EST) hasn’t missed a show in fifteen years. The lengthy list of guests which pass through the lo-fi studio reads like each STW employee’s dream line-up of wedding DJs, resonating almost perfectly with RA’s top rated DJs each year.
Luckily for us, Sweeney has turned this birthday celebration on its head and given a present to his fans in the shape of the Beats in Space 15th Anniversary Compilation. On a double CD are two mixes. The first disc is recorded live on air and made up of nearly all exclusive tracks (only three of the sixteen are available anywhere else), while disco two is a mix of BiS classics – some lost rediscoveries, some unreleased gems and some of Sweeney’s secret weapons. All are absolute firecrackers, including the likes of John Talabot, Carl Craig, Pachanga Boys and Prosumer.
On vinyl, eleven of these exclusive tracks have been released in their full glory, from midnight groovers by Azari & III, sunshine edits by Sweeney himself, to a homegrown favourite of Stamp’s – ‘A Million Things’ by Bath’s very own Samuel – which stands out as a real highlight.
The Beats in Space 15th Anniversary Compilation is on sale now, and available to buy at Juno. Catch Tim Sweeney playing a very special set at the Beats in Space album release party at Phonica this Saturday.