Kool FM started broadcasting to the West Midlands from its Birmingham base in early 1996 on a frequency of 105.6 later moving to 92.4FM. The team behind the station were inspired by Kool FM in London, or Kool London as it is known today.
Kool FM’s broadcasts were weekends, starting on a Friday and ending on a Sunday – early Monday morning and providing the West Midlands with Drum & Bass shows, something no other station was providing at the time. Being as Kool were doing something different, they attracted quite a following of DJ’s and listeners, some of whom were calling into the station saying it was the they’d heard Drum & Bass music.
Kool FM’s first year on air however was not an easy one, as many clubs and record shops were closing down around that time and as with any new station, it takes time for everything to fall into place and start to run smoothly. However the Kool management persisted and worked through the hard times, to become a major player on radio scene in the West Midlands of that time.
The station went from strength to strength, until the inevitable raids by Ofcom in March 2002, which in the end took their toll and the towel was thrown in. Kool FM was last heard on air in the West Midlands in Mid 2002.
Below is the about us section from the Kool FM Midlands Facebook page, so in their own words:
Kool FM Midlands, the sister station to the mighty Kool FM London. It first broadcasted in January 1996 on 105.6MHz. It was decided to start the station in response to the ‘northern lock down’ which was implemented by many DJ’s and MC’s refusing to travel beyond the M25 because of the trouble which occurred in The Institute, Birmingham. Subsequently, during late 1995 there was not a single DnB night in the whole of the West Midlands.
The first track to be aired on Kool FM Midlands was ‘This Style’ by Shy FX and the first live DJ set was broadcast by DJ Devize. The station would regularly commence broadcasting at 7pm Friday night’s and terminate early Monday morning (rarely being off air). Many DJ’s and MC’s worked every weekend on the station, cultivating their show so that each show had a unique selling point. This and the 15 – 20 backdoor staff allowed the Kool FM brotherhood to build up the Midlands DnB scene (who without their expertise the station would of never started). Some peeps that have broadcast a show on Kool FM Midlands include Bryan G, DJ SS, Ratty, Fallout, Pugwash, Mc Spider, XTC, MC Det, Brockie, Skibadee and IC3.
By 2001, not only were DJ’s and MC’s willing to travel back into the Midlands but there were many successful DnB nights happening right across the West Midlands area. Nightlife was greater in the West Midlands than it had ever been in the entire DnB history. Additionally, the station was broadcasting live on the internet to everyone around the world, when broadband was limited and expensive too 😉
Kool FM Midlands ran from 1996 till the Summer of 2002 when the station was sadly taken off air (the story of how the station got taken off air will be coming soon). The station changed the scene by putting the Midlands back on the map again and provided thousands of people entertainment for hours every weekend.
Who makes your weekend special ??? KOOL FM
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