I even got this old radio (Taraban 2 by Polish factory - Unitra) specially adjusted, aligned and plugged to couple meters of wire for the best reception at exactly 252 kHz. The best 24/7 reception was possible during fall and winter, for the rest of year only at night the signal was sufficient. It was totally unaudible during hot summer daytime, I also remember listening to it in deep noise or interfering with an Algerian or a Russian station during winters. Yup, the listening sometimes was a struggle and a pleasure at the same time.
So much effort... Polish stations played crappy music back then (well, they still mostly do) and A252 was a great alternative - it always had fresh tracks with this prestige-Western-Europe-feel, at least from my foreign point of view. Radio Luxembourg analogy comes to mind, doesn't it? I was a toddler when Radio Luxembourg was live legend, but i'm glad I came accross Atlantic 252.
Obviously, the station has influenced my music taste. It was the place where I found out about and could listen to Kosheen, which quickly became one of my favourite bands.
Here is the sound of Atlantic 252 in 2000-2001:
Because of the heavy rotation on the playlist it was easy to catch up with its music - typically every hour they would play the same tracks, only in a different order (many say it was station's drawback). I remember they introduced the competition for listeners to call the studio and name all tracks played in previous hour. "Twelve in a row is cool, but twelve in a row for cash is better!"
Using the playlist below, you can easily retrieve couple of last months, last weeks even, of Atlantic's existence. Here are all the tracks I associate with Atlantic 252:
Aaliyah - More than a woman
All Saints - Black Coffee
Architechs - Body Groove
Artful Dodger - Movin' Too Fast
Artful Dodger - Please don't turn me on
Baha Men - Who Let The Dogs Out (Barking Mad Mix aka Artemis Remix)
Basement Jaxx - Where's your heat at
Basstoy - Runnin' (Mark Picchiotti pres. Bass Toy feat. Dana Divine)
Blackstreet Feat. Dr. Dre - No Diggity
Blu Cantrell - Hit 'Em Upstyle
Bubba Sparxxx - Ugly
Daniel Bedingfield - Gotta Get Thru This
Dannii Minogue - Who Do You Love Now
Destiny's Child - Independent Women
Dr. Dre & Knoc-Turn'Al - Bad Intentions
Dr. Dre - Still Dre
Goldtrix presents Andrea Brown - It's Love (Trippin)
Ian Van Dahl - Will I
iiO - Rapture
Ja Rule Featuring Ashanti - Always on Time
Janet Jackson ft. Missy Eliot & Carly Simon - Son Of A Gun
Jam & Spoon - Be angeled
Jennifer Lopez - I'm Real (Murder Remix)
K-Ci And JOJO - Tell Me Its Real (2step Remix)
Kosheen - Catch
Kosheen - Hide U (John Creamer & Stephane K Remix Radio Edit)
Madison Avenue - Don't call me baby
Mary J. Blige - Dance For Me
Mary J. Blige - Family affair
MJ Cole - Sincere
Mr. Pink presents The Program - Love & affection
Nelly Furtado - On the Radio (Remember the Days)
P. Diddy - Bad Boy For Life
Pink - Get This Party Started
PPK - Resurrection
Samantha Mumba - Body to body
Shanks & Bigfoot - Sweet Like Chocolate
SisQo - Thong Song (Artful Dodger Remix)
Slam - Lifetimes
Sophie Ellis Bextor - Murder on the dancefloor
Sugababes - Overloaded
The B15 Project Feat. Crissy D And Lady G - Girls Like Us
The Corrs - Radio (Unplugged)
Tweet Feat. Missy Elliott - Oops (Oh My)
Wamdue Project - King of my castle
Wycleff Jean - Perfect Gentelman
Zombie Nation - Kernkraft 400
If you remember more A252 tracks from 2000-2001 let me know down in the comments section.
Faithful 'till the end
Last weeks of December 2001 passed without DJs, only music and some Christmas ads. In December 2001 the name of A252 successor was revealed: TeamTalk, sports talk fomat, BBC R.5Live's competitor.
January 3rd 2002 was doomsday. And as good a the first song heard on 252, I also remember one of the last ones: Nelly Furtado - On the radio (Remember the days).
Life after 252
Right after station's disappearance some other "music on AM" projects showed up and caught my attention. They include: German mediumwave network MegaRadio and UK's LBH Radio "The Scene" (1386 AM), but any of these and other stations resembled the 252 spirit.
After I installed a satellite dish in 2005, I came accross HINRG/LONRG, a non-stop music channel, which was available on Eurobird/Astra 28E satellite - not included in Sky Guide. Sometimes HINRG would play the entire playlist from Atlantic's 2001! BassToy was the most significant! A coincidence?
Saddly they discontinued HINRG as well. Sky also had "Pure Dance" channel for couple of years, which - by the low-bitrate sound, music style and heavy playlist rotation - could possibly be an A252 incarnation.
Back on longwave, years after Atlantic's passage, Irish public radio RTE1 took over 252 kHz LW. Just for nostalgia I occasionally tune it on the radio to hear the transmitter back on air, with a different programming of course. I don't know how, but it is not that strong as it used to be a decade ago. Maybe it's the transmitter that is old, maybe my receiver isn't so perfectly aligned to 252 anymore or maybe the longwave got polluted with all the noise from the new devices that appeared in my life (to provide new music, for example..).
As far as I am aware, the Irish transmitter will continue operation untill at least 2019.
For those who enjoyed Atlantic 252 more in mid-90s, here's the link for 24/7 stream with music and jingles from 15 years back. The've recently updated the playlist with many past-2001 tracks, so it's not the same. But I think they saved 89-99 playlist for the daytime.
Surprisingly, YouTube has only couple of recordings of Atlantic 252 from the Rhythm and Dance times, like these:
The Official Atlantic 252 tribute Site
The ORIGINAL tribute site dedicated to Long Wave Radio Atlantic 252
Atlantic 252 on Wikipedia
Some recordings from the very begining
Scottish DJ, MYLO recalls A252