Chicago’s new train station features an on-site DJ booth.
The installation is part of a huge $280-million revamp of the 95th Street Station on the Red Line of the city's iconic L-Train network, and has been conceived by internationally-acclaimed and locally-raised artist Theaster Gates, who also presides over Stony Island Arts Bank, home to Frankie Knuckles' record collection.
Plans for the performance space and radio station, christened 'AESOP: An Extended Voice of Our People', were finalised after consultation with residents of Chicago's South Side. They asked for something representative of their community.
The result means commuters will hear playlists comprising the city's many musical luminaries— which include house music legends like Frankie Knuckles, Jesse Saunders and new XOYO resident Derrick Carter, jazz great Sonny Rollins and soul icon Aretha Franklin. According to 5 Mag Chicago, a call has also been put out for DJs who are "invested in black music" to perform live sets.
Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel showed his support via Twitter, posting images of himself checking out the decks. As part of the new design, the station has also unveiled two tapestries made from decommissioned fire hoses in a nod to the city's world-famous fire department.
In other positive news from the Windy City, Smashed Plastic is the first vinyl pressing plant to become operational in Chicago for 20 years, opening in November 2018, shortly after a 96-page book went on sale celebrating classic posters and artwork from the pioneering town's early house scene.
What a thrill to join world-renowned, Chicago artist @TheasterGates to unveil new, works of art at the new 95th street redline terminal. Displayed at the South Terminal is Gates’ visual piece, “america, america,” a pair of large tapestries made from decommissioned fire hoses. pic.twitter.com/rjPE2I6nJA
— Mayor Rahm Emanuel (@ChicagosMayor) April 8, 2019