Beats in Space: New York’s most important underground dance show

Launched in 1999, Tim Sweeney’s Beats in Space has become the New York dance underground’s most vital radio show.

From the DFA disco era to current house, Sweeney’s show, broadcast weekly on radio station WNYU, has played host to some of modern music’s greatest DJs, from DJ Harvey and James Murphy to more recent names like Ben UFO and Gerd Janson. There’s a quiet authority to Beats in Space that forces DJs to raise their game, and as the artists in our documentary (Ben UFO, Joy Orbison, Jackmaster, Fort Romeau, Kasper Bjørke) will vouch, DJing on the show is far from just another guest mix.

Late last year, Beats in Space turned 15, celebrating with a double-disc compilation mixed by Sweeney. FACT TV spent several weeks at WNYU with Sweeney and a rotating cast of guests, finding out just what makes the show tick – from the Polaroids to the mysterious Victor from Washington Heights. This is how it went down.

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