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Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Music, Videos, and information about Santa Cruz artist / Portland, Oregon native Boy Eats Drum Machine




“[ONE-MAN BAND] Jon Ragel is a pop songsmith of the highest caliber, but his hip-hop-tinged, insane live show (he plays saxophone, drum machines, turntables and more) is where it’s at.”
MusicfestNW 2011 – Official Guide

Boy Eats Drum Machine is a singular figure of the West. He does things his own way, thank you very much, and does those things well enough to run his own one-man gang.  Sometimes his voice is low and dry like the great Oregon deserts. Other times it resonates warmly, as though reflecting off the hills. He’s a turntablist’s turntablist, robbing breaks and sound textures from vinyl even after most of his contemporaries switched to laptops. He often mixes together twangy guitars, soulful blasts of tenor saxophone, and bassy, soundtrack worthy, analog synth. He’s an artist-outlaw.

His shows feature a mixture of multi-instrumental-turntable-wizardry and performance art, as he moves effortlessly from sax, to drum, to dj station. BEDM audiences are comprised of ferociously moving bodies, curious onlookers, and shining faces nodding in time to expertly placed beats. His songs are succinct, interesting, and strut into jammy terrain only on such occasions that call for it. Though Boy Eats Drum Machine has his finger on the sample button, his sound remains distinctively organic. His home-spun compositions set a cozy table, with tales of escape nibbling at your heart strings.

“BEDM sounds like a jazz-electronic fusion on record and looks like a well-synchronized dance on stage.”Seattle Weekly

“a one-man circus, freakishly talented at playing every instrument you thought you could play, at the same time.”
Willamette Week

“BEDM is super high-energy and has great stage presence.”
PDX Pipeline

“Boy Eats Drum Machine’s one man performance was a sight to behold.”
Live PDX

BEDM has also received a healthy dose of civic attention for his Cure/Talking Heads ‘live mashups‘ (which culminated in a live show at Portland’s Wonder Ballroom with a backing band featuring Dave Allen of Gang of Four fame on bass), his Portland Trailblazers ‘Blazers Theme‘, as well as two Radiohead remixes.

Jon 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 metroid. He sold his mpc and switched exclusively to computer-based recordings a couple years later.

The fall of 2005 saw Jon 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 12/06-3/07. It was released the summer of 2007 and featured many talented portland area musicians.


M1 (1/2014-self release)
The Battle (10/2012-self release) 
20 Beats (9/2010-self release)
Hoop and Wire (3/2010-Tender Loving Empire-TLE023)
Booomboxxx (10/2008-Tender Loving Empire-TLE19)
Two Ghosts (8/2007-self release-BER04)
Pleasure (10/2005-self release-BER03)

Festival appearances:

Volume 2014 (Spokane/WA) 5/31
Eastern Oregon Film Festival (La Grande/OR) 2/2014
Treefort (Boise/ID) 3/2014
Boise Promenade Festival (Boise/ID) 10/2010
Musicfest NW (Portland/OR) 9/2010
Eugene Celebration (Eugene/OR) 9/2010
Neon Reverb (Las Vegas/NV) 3/2010
Cherry City Music Festival (Salem/OR) 4/2009
CMJ Music Marathon (New York/NY) 10/2008
OPB Mix-N-Mash (Salem/OR) 10/2008
Musicfest NW (Portland/OR) 9/2008
Georgetown Music Festival (Seattle/WA) 6/2008
KUFO Rockfest (St.Helens/OR) 8/2007
PDX Pop Now! (Portland/OR) 7/2006

Compilation appearances:

PDX Pop Now! 2010 (cd)
Tender Loving Empire 2010 (cd)
Tender Loving Empire 2009 (cd)
Travel Portland 2008 (cd)
Tender Loving Empire 2008 (cd)
Failing Records Vol 4 2007 (cd)
Arena Rock P:ear Benefit 2007 (digital)
Cut and Paste Collective 2002 (cd)

Scores for independent short films:

Thank You, Amelia Bedelia (2008) dir. by Tami Galvin
Von Cent The Invent (2007) dir. by Karlyn Gibson
Table 16 (2007) dir. by Erik Stanfill