Tim Sweeney, Sisi, Carlos Gibbs, Mau Mau
Rainbow Disco Club - the hidden festival gem of Japan - is back at Elevator for a night beyond space and time. If you were at the May edition featuring San Proper, you have an idea what you're in for (if not - you don't want to miss this).
Headlining is Tim Sweeney, of Beats in Space. Over the course of a decade, Sweeney built Beats in Space from a little-known late night college radio show into an iconic brand. In return, BIS has launched Sweeney's career as one of New York's most sought-after DJs.
From the beginning, Sweeney understood the potential for a dance music radio show broadcast from the heart of New York City, of a genre-breaking format, showcasing the best dance music— whether disco, new wave, Chicago house, minimal techno, Krautrock, funk and soul, or post-punk—found anywhere in the world, anytime in history. He took cues from groundbreaking disc jockeys like Detroit's Electrifying Mojo, who thought nothing of following up Prince with a Kraftwerk or Depeche Mode record. Armed with this vision, Sweeney began pulling in heavy-hitting guest DJs on BIS, prompting WNYU's producers to move him to the FM dial with increasingly prime timeslots. Sweeney quickly attracted a strong international following for the diverse range of artists and styles on his playlists. Guest artists who've appeared alongside him on the show range from avant-techno stylists Carl Craig and Superpitcher, to Australian turntablists the Avalanches, to Nordic disco producers Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, to leading house lights like Seth Troxler and Prosumer.
Says Sweeney, "Since I need to do something different for each show, I'm forced to go out and discover new music every week. It can be recently released or unreleased records, or older songs that people haven't heard before. I try to find the best music from all different genres, and then make them fit together in ways that appeal to people who might not have liked, say, disco or techno, before now. For me it's always fun finding tracks that people don't know about, but that sound amazing."
If you love dance music, few things are better than Tim’s show. You can also listen online afterwards. But especially when listening live, it feels a lot like eavesdropping. Special guests drop in to play records, 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.
Then there’s Beats In Space Records. We don’t know how Tim finds the time to run this impeccable label. But it's not surprising that, between Tim traveling the world and the world traveling to Tim, he finds great tunes that would otherwise slip by the rest of us. After A Laughing Light of Plenty’s beardo-disco stomp “The Rose”, Tim approached the group’s Eddie Ruscha with a simple question: Is there anything else? That’s how Secret Circuit came to be— killer psych techno disco pop, which is a neat enough summation of Tim’s tastes too. Since then BIS has released gritty schaffel (Gonno’s “Are You Asleep”), spartan house (Jee Day’s "Sum Of Love"), and soft-focus noir-pop (Paradis's "Hemisphere").
Supporting is Japanese RDC veteran Sisi. Besides the festival, you can find him rocking clubs like Vent, Womb, Contact and Air, and running the "Test Trax" diggers' blog. His set warming up for San Proper was one of our favorites in the club - strange, warped disco and house with warm grooves, otherworldly and familiar at the same time. Rounding it up are local cats Carlos Gibbs (one of the festival's founders) and Mau Mau.