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.