Group Mind

Location: London

Est: 2019

Potted History: “Group Mind started when I moved back to central London last year,” explains founder Richard Norris, who you will know as one half of The Grid and Beyond The Wizards Sleeve. “I was looking for a sonic balm from all the madness going on around me. I was encouraged to learn that Brian Eno made some of his most tranquil and well-loved ambient music in a small flat in the centre of New York. I was also inspired by a few books – Daphne Oram’s ‘An Individual Note’, WA Mathieu’s ‘The Listening Book’ and Pauline Oliveros’ seminal ‘Deep Listening: A Composer’s Sound Practice’. They opened my mind towards a new way to write, listen, and experience ambient, drone and experimental music. So the label was born.”

Mission Statement: “My favourite ambient sounds are warm, immersive, take you somewhere else and help you de-stress,” he explains. “I hope this music has a purpose beyond just being aesthetically pleasing. Hopefully it will be as much use as a calming, meditative aid as the music of, say, Chihei Hatakeyama, or the drones of Éliane Radigue are to me. When listened to deeply, great ambient or drone records can be utterly transcendent – real electronic soul music. That’s what I’d like to achieve with Group Mind.”

Key artists & releases: “The label currently only has one artist – me,” he laughs. “However, it’s a Group Mind, so there will no doubt be a growing label roster when the right artists come along. The first release is my ‘Abstractions Volume One’. The Abstractions series is an ongoing experimental library, with a series of regular limited edition releases planned. There’ll be a handful more GM releases later this year.”

Future Plans: “We have a lively Group Mind Facebook group, a handy filter for all things ambient. There’s monthly Group Mind mixes on Mixcloud, and hopefully on the radio soon. We are also running a free monthly Group Mind club night at Supermax in Kings Cross, London, with Joe Muggs and myself as resident DJs. UK-wide and international club and live dates are in the pipeline.”

Any other business? “I’m collaborating with artist and Chemical Brothers lighting designer Marcus Lyall and neuroscientist James Kilner on a series of installations. The first one will be displayed in Liverpool St Station, London, from May for a year, and features generative versions of Group Mind music, alongside Marcus’ stunning light installation. The music and lights are triggered by the audience’s heartbeat and pulse rate. It’s very hypnotic – it looks like a circular, storey-high intro sequence to the original ‘Doctor Who’ series. Quite a trip!”

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