Operator is the alias of UK electronic music artist, engineer and DJ Rich Jones, known for his Techno and House productions on Soma, 8 Sided Dice, Kanzleramt, and Greta Cottage Workshop, over 18 vinyl releases to his name, and having been remixed by Mark Broom and Joey Beltram over the years.
After 6 years of releasing music under his own name, Operator, alongside Richʼs imprint Gnosis Records, was born in 2012 to allow free reign to explore his own unique take on Techno, influenced mainly by the sound closest to his heart – that being the hypnosis inducing tribal tinged percussive loopy sound of the late 90s/early 00ʼs that he grew up on.
With Operator, and Gnosis Records, the theme was to be on the transcendental nature of ‘flow statesʼ induced by repetitive percussive rhythms and altered consciousness states, with a nod to spirituality, psychedelia, futurism and cyber punk aesthetics, all things close to Richʼs heart.
Richʼs music has always been keenly percussive in nature – focused primarily on rhythm, and timing (and, as such, flow), power, atmosphere and energy, with a deft touch for melody and evoking emotion.
After servicing the big rooms for years, Operator allowed Rich to ‘go deepʼ and do whatever he felt like – to explore his own vision of hypnotic percussive Techno, from the small to the large.
After releasing his debut Operator EP on Gnosis in 2013, Rich was picked up by Jeroen Liebregts (aka Radial) and Bas Mooy for an EP on Audio Assault. Releases and remixes followed over the years on CLR, Singular (the popular vinyl only Elastic Minds EP in 2015), Blue Hour, Emetic, From 0-1, Green Fetish Records, Geushky and, more recently, MIndtrip and a double 12” on Mord, via DJ trips to Tresor in Berlin, Club Forsage in Kiev, Substation in San Francisco, and, on home turf, Cable, FOLD and Corsica Studios amongst others.
Rich also recorded mixes for popular podcasts like Ilian Tape, Invites Choice and Mindtrip over the years and developed an improvisational live hardware show with Radial – ‘Aeons At Playʼ – that debuted at FOLD in 2020.
After working in the box for years, Rich slowly transitioned to a nearly entirely outboard setup since 2018, and his skill with the machines is evident in his collaboration with Radial, as, with apparent effortlessness, he builds and mixes endlessly groovy and intense percussive rhythm layers that Radial feeds with sequenced modular synth elements.
The pair also have lots of material that will be seeing the light of day soon, some upcoming gig dates, and lots more planned for Aeons At Play in general.
As a DJ, Rich has been spinning records since 1998, holding a popular residency in his home town for years, before he got into production in 2002.
As much thought and love go into his DJ sets as his productions, with Richʼs vision being that of a clear journey, with timing and flow of utmost importance, and a leaning towards both synergy and contrast between the tracks played, and a build up of intensity from start to finish.
With a mixture of fierce fader work and high energy transitions coupled with longer ‘progressiveʼ mixes and sharp left turns, but always with those heavy, funky drums, Richʼs DJ sets never stray to far from the light, from emotion, from the funk, even whilst navigating the dark and atonal corners of modern Techno.
His intention is for the listener to concentrate closely on his flow, on the timing – to sync up completely the intention of the epic story being told, with the listener or dancer on the dance floor.
And he does just that, being adept at taking the dancers for an intense trip down the Techno rabbit hole, whilst always keeping a sense of playfulness and funk present.
Despite the attrition of a decades long chronic health condition slowing him down at every turn, Rich has secured a well respected position in the international Techno community, with a plethora of interesting and creative records to his name – the craft and creativity of which is clearly evident in the percussive, powerful, funky and novel hypnotic grooves he creates.
Richʼs continues to hone his sound in his garden studio shed, always hunting for that perfect percussive loop.
And the future looks bright with further singles and EPʼs penned on Symbolism, Counterchange, Mindtrip, BCCO, Mord and Gnosis Records. Richʼs debut album as Operator is also in the pipeline.