Radio ditto // Tech, Art & Culture

Campfire // Richard Norris

Sept. 30, 2019

Radio ditto presents Campfire, where we talk to inspiring folk from the worlds of tech, art and culture.

In this episode, we're joined by prolific London-based record producer, songwriter, sound engineer, musician, DJ and author Richard Norris. He is best known as a member of electronic dance band The Grid. Richard has also worked as a producer and engineer since the 80s with artists such as Bryan Ferry, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Marc Almond, Joe Strummer and Pet Shop Boys.

He began making music as a teenage member of St. Albans punk band Innocent Vicars recording two singles in 1980 - ‘Antimatter‘ and ‘Funky Town‘ for the independent No Brain Records. He started working in the music industry as the label manager for the British psychedelic record label, Bam Caruso, before becoming a writer for NME in 1987. Since then Richard has been in the UK TOP 3 charts, most notably in with the single ‘Swamp Thing’ when he was a member of The Grid, and most recently performing at the 26th Anniversary of BBC Meltdown festival with Nile Rodgers, the most long-running artist-curated festival in the world. Richard is also working on a new abstract and ambient album Abstractions.

During this fascinating talk we journey through Richards rise in music from electronic bedroom beats to UK TOP 3 singles. We find out why Joy Division were creatures from another planet and how a mix of music, LSD and fashion created the new term ‘Freakbeat’ embodying the mod, pop-psych sound. We talk about the rumours of Richard’s old manager based on an eccentric Spinal Tap character.

We also discuss how music can be an escape and a safe haven, and the necessity to create a safe space in dubious surroundings, which is what led Richard onto his ambient adventure.

At the end of the podcast, Richard gives his recommendations on what to listen to, what to read and what to watch.

Visit ditto.tv/events to check out Richard's Campfire presents Big Boost Mondays event from October 7th at our Clerkenwell studios. 

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