Boy Eats Drum Machine is the solo work of native Portlander, Jon Ragel. He is a songwriter, producer, singer, turntablist, and also plays saxophone, guitar, synthesizer, organ, and several percussive nick nacks.
As a one-man musical act, Boy Eats Drum Machine merges the worlds of turntablism and live rock performance as Ragel spins breaks and surgically inserts sounds while juggling vocals, percussion, and saxophone.
His latest album, Booomboxxx, is an experimental pop record loaded with unique turntable textures, saxophone blasts, expertly chopped break beats, and gutsy vocals. Although the record effectively mashes several musical forms, it is Ragelâ€™s most cohesive work to date, bringing to mind artists like DJ Shadow, Queen, Morphine, David Bowie, and The Postal Service.
Ragel started to make recordings under the name Boy Eats Drum Machine in 2001 when he used a 4-track to record and load his MPC with scads of samples, creating blippy pop experimentations. he wanted to evoke the idea of Pac Man and the music of the NES game â€œMetroid.â€ He sold his MPC and switched exclusively to computer-based recordings a couple years later.
The fall of 2005 saw Ragel using his new found love for the turntable for the first time in a full length recording. He spun and chopped up breaks to create the backbones of the songs that would form pleasure. Many of these beats were sampled from Bridgetown Breaks Volume 1. He recorded Two Ghosts from December ’06 to March ’07. It was released the summer of 2007 and featured many talented Portland area musicians.Â Booomboxxx is slated for release this fall from Portland label Tender Loving Empire.
IN THE PRESS
â€œDubbed out hip pop.â€ – Willamette Week
â€œThis album is full of sonic treats-especially for those who love their headphone candy.â€ – turntabling.net
â€œBoy Eats Drum Machine has become one of Portland‘s favorite local acts, and for very good reason. Frontman Jon Ragel brings impressive turntable skills to a live band setting in a way that never sounds forced, gimmicky, or like those nÃ¼-metal DJs. His soulful, steady vocals weave in and out of the evolving, fluid arrangements.â€ – Portland Mercury
â€œGlitchy dance-pop explosions.â€ – Portland State University Vanguard
â€œAside from a knack for hooks and splashes of vivid electronic color, Ragel has a dramatic voice that covers alot of ground, from sweet soul man to beleaguered bohemian to near operatic peaks of impassioned pop. Highly recommended.â€ – Portland Monthly – Best of The City ’07
a. MP3: â€œBOOOMBOXXXâ€œ