New Wave Radio Station WXB 102 Celebrates 15 Years Online
Written By Mikey Sutton • Editor-in-Chief • Owner
"And now we're moving to new beginnings
But as we move we looked once behind"
- Seona Dancing
I fell in love in the Philippines.
With a radio station.
It was called WXB 102, otherwise known as "The Station That Dares to Be Different."
And it blew my mind.
Playing the most adventurous mix of New Wave, punk rock, ska, reggae, synth-pop, and Goth Rock you will ever hear on the FM dial, WXB 102 looked at the superficial state of Manila radio and kicked it in the balls. Spinning everything from Aztec Camera to Joy Division, the Adventures to Xmal Deutschland, Bob Marley to Killing Joke, with enough Colourfield, Lotus Eaters, Friends Again, Jimmy Jimmy, Sisters of Mercy, and China Crisis to make you feel like you were living in England, WXB 102 became the soundtrack of my high-school days in the Philippines during the mid-to-late '80s. (Pictured is one of the WXB 102 tapes I recorded in Pasay in 1987 when I was only 18.)
WXB 102 made you feel like being an outcast wasn't something to be ashamed of; it was a badge of honor.
But then, in 1987, it was gone. For 18 years, the memory of WXB 102 haunted me; I couldn't let it go.
On September 10, 2005, 15 years ago today, I resurrected WXB 102 as an online radio station with the original DJs. Cool Carla Abaya was first as the Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary" became the first track played on WXB 102 in 18 years. One by one, I had them all return -- George Frederick Ledesma Gabales; Albert Abella (Fat Albert); Allan Kato (Allan K.); Rico Gutierrez (The Morning Man); Butch Rivero (Julius Caesar); and Manolet Rodrigo (The Ghost). And Mick Flame, the volunteer Mickey the Clown, finally got his shot on the air.
I revived WXB 102 not just for me but for all of you. It was my vision for the whole world to hear what we had back in the '80s and for generations to come.
I made that dream come true for you to witness. It was no longer a dream.
It was absolute reality.
Initially broadcasting online over Live365 in the earliest years of its resurrection, WXB 102 has long since outlived its previous FM incarnation. This is due to the tireless efforts of Gabales and the station's dedicated listeners, who began paying its bills when I could no longer afford to do so. (Year one cost me over $25,000.)
We chose September 10 as we didn't want WXB 102's anniversary to be 9/11. Carla and Flame would snail me pre-recorded broadcasts on CD-Rs from the Philippines, and we would rip them onto Live365. Fat Albert, the Morning Man, and Allan K. would join soon thereafter. In 2007, Gabales returned to live broadcasting after a 20-year absence. (A historical article on WXB 102 is coming soon to these pages.)
Internet stations soar high and then burn in the sun. WXB 102 continues to flap its phoenix wings.