The Beat Bash



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The Beat Bash – 23 January 2014

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What Time Is Love? by The KLF
Killer by Seal
Gangster by Electronic
Voodoo Ray by A Guy Called Gerald
19 by Paul Hardcastle
Sympathy For The Devil by Laibach
Tension by The Force Dimension
Rhythm Of Time by Front 242
Consolidated by Consolidated
Euphoric by Delerium

“But what’s puzzling you is the nature of my game…”

I was texting with my friend Andrew as I was putting this mix together. He’s English, and likes that I throw in what he considers pop tunes. While an artist like Seal has certainly enjoyed mainstream success, I tend to think of him as being on the fringes of pop at the time Killer was re-recorded (from an earlier collaboration with Adamski) and re-released. The remix was done by William Orbit at the same time he was remixing artists like Nitzer Ebb, and it wasn’t commercial to my ears. “In fact,” I said, “there’s quite a dark undercurrent running through this entire mix. We’ve got a rave classic which is based on a musical snippet from ‘Judas’ Death’ in Jesus Christ Superstar, a killer, a gangster, voodoo, the Vietnam War, the Devil, tension, Belgians, political vegans, and a Front Line Assembly side project with lots of sci-fi and horror movie samples.”

I was very amused to realize that “Belgians” and “political vegans” were things I considered dark by default.


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The Beat Bash – 16 January 2014

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A Measured Response by Manufacture
Digital Tension Dementia by Front Line Assembly
Over The Shoulder by Ministry
Jehovah’s Precious Stone by Danielle Dax
Love House by Samantha Fox
If I Ever by Red Flag
Crucify Me by Moev
The Different Story by Peter Schilling
Lightning Man by Nitzer Ebb
Time by The Wolfgang Press

“Get up off of the altar, and drink that holy water…”

Some mixes are harder than others to record – this is one of those mixes.

I love that Manufacture was produced by Greg Hawkes, the bowl-cut and glasses-wearing keyboard player in The Cars.


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The Beat Bash – 9 January 2014

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Hello by The Beloved
American Science by Duran Duran
Here To Go by Cabaret Voltaire
Primal Understanding by The Final Cut
White Rabbit by David Diebold
W.F.L. by Happy Mondays
You Me And Everything (Else) by The Shamen
Down In It by Nine Inch Nails
I Touch Roses by Book Of Love
Ace Love Deuce by Finitribe

“Each and every one of you, make it internal!”

It was not uncommon on The Beat Bash for a pop band like Duran Duran to rub shoulders with a much harder act like The Final Cut (with vocals provided by Chris Connelly, of Revolting Cocks/Ministry/Wax Trax fame – and formerly of Finitribe).


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The Beat Bash – 2 January 2014

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Lover Come Back To Me by Dead Or Alive
I Need A Man by Eurythmics
Kooler Than Jesus by My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
Fine Time by New Order
Get Real by Paul Rutherford
Behind The Wheel by Depeche Mode
Helter Skelter by Meat Beat Manifesto
Jetlag by Severed Heads
Freemason by Boxcar
Left To My Own Devices by Pet Shop Boys

“I was faced with a choice at a difficult age…”

And so we begin. The story of The Beat Bash runs parallel to my coming out, in that I had some inkling, but didn’t fully understand things until I got to college, where some slightly older and more experienced friends gave me guidance. My eyes (and ears) were opened to a whole new world, and I embraced it fully.

In this first episode I tried to sum up what The Beat Bash was really like. Dead Or Alive was (original co-host) Brian Parker’s favorite band, so they appeared in almost every show. New Order and Depeche Mode were the biggest names in alternative dance music at college radio, and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult was representative of the typical Wax Trax! Records sound. The Beat Bash is where I first heard Severed Heads and Meat Beat Manifesto, who became hugely influential on my own music (I have a Severed Heads tattoo on my left forearm). There’s also my beloved Pet Shop Boys, who were wildly successful everywhere in the world but the US, where they were beginning to move back underground.

WRFL original air studio, 1988. Photo by Jack S.

The Beat Bash was an alternative dance music show which aired weekly on WRFL, 88.1 FM, from the University of Kentucky’s campus. Featuring the best in Progressive Dance, Eurodisco, Industrial, Acid House, and New Wave, The Beat Bash was one of the original shows in the 24-hour programming lineup when the station debuted in February 1988.

The show was hosted by Brian Parker and Michelle Eldridge for the first couple of years, followed by Brian Von Reber. I then took over hosting every other week, alternating with Jim “DJ Cosmic” Owens. Although I’d been sitting in on the show since the very beginning – and was already doing an occasional DJ slot at The Metro – my official debut as host was 22 June 1991. I continued to do the show for several years, taking over in full from Cosmic, then bringing on Tamara “Tam Tam” Lockman as my co-host sometime around 1993. Tam Tam eventually gave the show over to Sami Ibrahim, and at that point I moved away from Kentucky and lost track.

Over the past 25 years I’ve carefully maintained a collection of what I consider the core of the Beat Bash sound: Wax Trax! Records, Mute and Factory, Chicago house and Detroit techno, Industrial music from Germany and Belgian New Beat. It’s a sound that nostalgia hasn’t yet plundered, and after a year-long break from DJing, I felt it was time to pay tribute to the dance music that first captured my imagination.

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