If you don’t know her by name, you’ll know her other work as the producer of Paul van Dyk‘s weekly VONYC Sessions radio program and an occasional guest on Solarstone‘s Pure Trance radio.
Even through the current world situation, Suzanne Chesterton is keeping busy working on projects from her Nottinghamshire, England home. One of those is her weekly radio program, Voyager Radio.
Entering its 96th episode, Suzanne’s program is a hand-selected hour-long collection of House, Trance, and Progressive music. The program is recorded and distributed by This Is Distorted, an audio production and content company based in Leeds, England. Ran by Trance DJ, Andi Durrant, the brand is the world’s largest producer and supplier of electronic music programs.
Suzanne’s program is based on her love of space – outer space, that is. Notably, the two Voyager spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in August and September of 1977.
Both Voyager spacecraft carry a greeting to any form of life that would be encountered. The message is carried by a phonograph record – a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. The contents of the record were selected for NASA by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan of Cornell University. Dr. Sagan and his associates assembled 115 images and a variety of natural sounds. To this, they added musical selections from different cultures and eras and spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages.
From time to time, Suzanne dedicates a program to an artist with songs they believe would be a good representation of Earth as we know it today. The results are sometimes humorous, but always thought-provoking.
Her regular program is broken into segments. Discoveries feature a couple of the latest hits that you would expect from any radio show, but as the segment name dictates, the song selection is some of the best music that has yet to hit the mainstream, and sadly, never will. It’s an excellent way for the listener to further research and enjoy other offerings from the artist.
The Black Hole is a musical journey beyond the typical dance music format. Nothing is out of bounds for this particular song of the program, and a recent playing of Superlover‘s Whoomp!, which features a sample from Tag Team‘s Whoomp! (There It Is), proves just that. Editor note: I honestly couldn’t stop laughing for the duration of that song.
Ramping up the BPM’s past the midway point of the show is Interstellar. Again, featuring some of the more popular Trance tracks that can be found in the Beatport 100 charts like the resurgence of The Conductor & The Cowboy, this segment also features some lost favorites such as Ferry Corsten‘s past alias, System F.
As the week’s voyage concludes, The Final Approach is always a favorite. Again, reaching into her endless crate of music, Suzanne reserves this slot with a song that may have a particular meaning to her week. Raising two boys and holding a stable relationship with Rock and Roll photographer, Andy Gallagher, Suzanne is the lone woman in a male-dominated household. Recent plays of Play The Crowd by Flip Fantazia and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole‘s Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World may indicate her current feeling.
It’s not just the song selections that make this radio program enjoyable; it’s her voice. Coming from a background in journalism and radio, Suzanne is a natural talent on the airwaves.
In the nearly two years since Voyager Radio‘s inception, Suzanne hasn’t wavered from her format, which is tempting in this day and age of “keeping up with the Jones’.” And, that’s the thing, she doesn’t have to. Each week brings something fresh to the table, a talent that other programs miss in today’s marketplace.
This program is a useful reference for DJs to incorporate new music into their live-streams; it’s also an education. Adding the occasional tidbit about an artist or song is another feature that proves Suzanne isn’t just a producer or dance music guru. Her years of experience working with practically every well-known Trance music producer in the world make her one of the more knowledgeable people to grace the microphone.
In the end, Voyager Radio is a hit, and it’s one of the few programs that should be on your (free) subscribe list.
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