The world was a different place in 1999. New York was a different place. But one constant in the city has been Beats in Space, Tim Sweeney's weekly mix of eclectic house, disco, hip-hop, techno and dance floor friendly anthems, broadcast through WNYU. The show has been on air every Tuesday night from 10.30pm to 1am since its debut. That's 15 years without missing a week. It's all for the love of music.
"I don't get paid doing the radio show, but I love learning about music," Sweeney says. "I love having these guests on, hearing what they play. I just have a really good time with it. It's college radio anyway so I can do what I want and I love that freedom."
In an attempt to connect with the show's global audience, Sweeney established a hotline on which listeners could leave messages for him and his guests. However, a man calling himself Victor from Washington Heights, a potentially unstable character that veers between utter contempt for "little Timmy" and the show, and adulation, has now largely hijacked it.
"They did start freaking me out at the very beginning," says Sweeney of the over 600 messages from Victor he has saved, which are now available online. "If I play disco or anything with other languages he gets more angry than you need to be. He's definitely a patriot. When he loves the show he says that he's having a house party with hundreds of people... I feel like [the show] is really a failure if he likes it because it means I didn't play enough different music."
Will Sweeney be spending New Year's Eve 2014 in the company of his biggest fan then? "No, he's never invited me to a house party," he says.