Boom Operators at the Dark Horse

This Saturday, the closest thing Moseley has to a supergroup will grace the stage at the Dark Horse, with members including a world dj champion and a nineties big beat veteran. Seeing as their trip hop styled mix of electronica and hip hop has troubled a few big stages already, Voodoo Jukebox thought it was high time we had a chat with them to find out more.

The lineup of the Boom Operators features a few names music heads might recognise, can you give me a brief rundown of who the members are and how you all came together?

Band members are –  Myself (aka Automaton) – beats, moog & electronics

Richard March (Bentley Rhythm Ace / Pop Will Eat Itself) – double bass

Mr Switch  (4 x World DMC DJ Champion) – turntables

Hugh Graham – Dirtyb  (one eye / The Atlantic Players) –  percussion

Gary Williams – electric guitar / lapsteel

I’ve been pals with all of the band members for years now as we’re all based in Kings Heath / Moseley in brum town. I guess the fact that we’re all musicians in what’s essentially a village means we’ve all met at various gigs and pubs in the area over the years. I’ve also had the pleasure of sharing houses with switch and gary and also taught music technology with Richard and Hugh at assorted colleges around the midlands too.


Listening to the soundcloud tracks the predominant vibe to me is a turn of the century, post trip hop one. Was that the intention from the start or did it happen by accident?

 Trip hop was the reason I got into electronic music in the 90’s and it’s basically what got me into producing records. On the other hand, I’ve listened to a lot of old man’s dub music and worked at the Yardbird Jazz Club for years too as a sound man since then so that’s influenced our sound a lot too. However I can’t say that there was ever a plan as it’s been totally organic and sporadic since the beginning!

I was wondering what Boom Operators might sound like with an mc or vocalist, any plans to move in that direction?

We’ve worked with mc’s and beatboxers loads in the past and it went really well (huge shout outs to Madflow, Bass6 and Zion Lion!!). However, we tested out a completely seemless set with no gaps inbetween the tracks at Mostly Jazz festival in summer and it totally worked for us, so the show basically takes the form of a dj set but with a full live band. It’s pretty unique and works really well!

After the gig this weekend what else is in the pipeline for Boom Operators?

Myself and Gary have been promising to write some new material together so that’s the first item on the agenda. We’ve also been approached by a couple of pretty high profile music agencies recently so hopefully we’ll be hitting a load of festivals next summer, enjoying the sunshine and doing what we love doing.



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Voodoo Jukebox - promoting underground, independent and bizarre music, based in Birmingham.