Interview with Lee Burridge

Lee Burridge sat down with Kim Smith to talk about the new Balance 012 3xCD. This is what Lee had to say...

Interview with Lee Burridge Photo by Balance

You're releasing Balance012, which is a three disc album what made you do it over three CDs?
One whole extra CD of great music! It actually gave me a better opportunity to express myself in the way I like to play a club set. I really enjoy and actually play better when given more time as it allows me to tell the story slowly and with more detail. To make records make sense of each other and not just ram a bunch of hits into a mix. It depends if you would rather read the highlights or read the whole story.

What are the differences between the three CDs?
I thought long and hard about this package. It took me over two months to compile and mix the three discs.

CD1 - I've wanted to put together a collection of music that I find beauty within. Music made with passion, warmth and with a slight melancholic feel to each track. There are so many multi disc mixes with the standard 'ambient chill out' disc' that I wanted to try and make something that was very nice to listen to but not an ambient mix.

CD2 - This was the disc I was struggling with right up until the last week. I went in with the intention of making this a collection of druggy house music and minimal techno and it actually ended up being quite a ride with more ups and downs than I'd set out to make. The mix twists and turns and chugs and bumps along and really is pretty much the closest I've come to capturing what I do in a club since the Tyrant CD's. There are so many layers to these tracks and I feel this mix will open up over time to anyone who gives it a chance. It represents the part of the night that you get lost in and have no real idea what happened.

CD3 - Ahh..the consummate rocking CD. One always feels under pressure to put a more 'rocking' CD on a mix. This is it. Again I wanted to try and do something a little different so I set out this mix as a continuation of the previous 2 discs. It starts out in a much bolder way than anything I've done previously. It's tough and drummy (my new word I've been using!) for a long time before letting you off for a moment then back to drummy! it's music for fucked up people. These are the best mix CD's I've made since Craig Richards and I made Tyrant and I'm really happy with all three.

What are some of the biggest lessons you've learnt while being a DJ?
That I’m no more important than anyone else just lucky to have fallen into this life and that a sense of humour goes a long way especially as I was an ugly child!

What's been the best party you've DJed at?
I have a few but I played in Brazil at a club called Warung a while back which was out of this world and also every time I go to Romania it blows my mind.

What's your preference - playing at festivals or clubs?
Clubs for sure. They have a much more intimate vibe.

What advice would you give to upcoming DJs?
Sleep your way to the top. I did.

You’ve always been a diverse DJ in terms of style, how would you describe your sound at the moment?
Wonky house music with wobbly bits with the sounds of pixies mounting each other underneath terrapins which is only suitable for people on drugs.

You produced a track with Steve Porter called Raw Dog which had great success this year on your own label Almost Anonymous. Quite a quirky name for a track, is there a story behind it? And have you got anymore productions / remixes in the pipeline?
I write down names and sayings that amuse me and I was in a bar and some guy was talking about how he had sex with some girl ‘raw dog’ which is without a condom if I remember correctly. It made me laugh and I thought at the time it would make a funny track title for a techno track. I’ve almost finished a new track called ‘Finders Keeper losers Weepers’ which I hope to put out by the end of the year. I’ve chilled on producing again as I’ve been working on the Balance CD and haven’t been anywhere long enough to work on music this year.

Which producers are you exited about at the moment?
Some guys out of Detroit called Seth Troxler and Lee Curtis.

Is there any new technology that you're currently embracing?
I'm really liking the Pacemaker which is soon to be released. It's going to make DJ'ing at after parties and in rough terrain so much easier. Check it out!

Throughout your career, you have had many great projects. What ones are you most proud of?
My 365 project of the last few years really taught me a lot more about the people and the cities I visited and set up shop in. I loved the slower pace of the project and the fact I got off my arse and wrote some music with various talented producers was a bonus. I'm actually proud of Tyrant to this day. Craig is a very talented man and being involved with him and Tyrant pushed me into the public consciousness in a way that probably wouldn't have happened that quickly, if at all. Our mix CD's still to this day get talked about in an amazing way and I think we really expanded peoples musical tastes back then. And my Balance mix is, I feel, the best thing I've done since then and so I'm really proud of it too.

Do you think drugs are still a very important part of dance culture?
Definitely. Drugs are important in all music culture not just dance music. Listen to Bill hicks rant about the Beetles etc when it comes to the creative process of making music. We would be without many amazing musical moments if the artists were all straight when they made them. .

You have a massive tour coming up, where is it going to take you and what are you most looking forward to / worried about?
I think it would be quicker to list the countries I’m not going to. The tour is a world tour and will take me initially to Australia and every where in the USA then back to Europe for December and January and then off to Asia and South America early next year. Ouch! I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of friends I’ve not seen for a year or so but am worried I’ll see them for about ten minutes as the tour is pretty hectic. I’m looking forward to playing with Craig Richards again in Mexico as we are also doing some Tyrant nights together again.

Were you aware of the Balance series and those who had come before you?
Am I not the first? Hahaha of course. Balance really has been building it’s reputation over the last few years and I feel really happy to be invited to be a part of it. I love the fact that they’ve given a platform to DJ’s who at the time weren’t as well known as they are now. They trusted their own taste in DJ’s and the music they play and not taken obvious picks. I really see this series growing and growing and not only giving old farts like me a second chance but also opening the doors for more new names to emerge (I’m not really an ‘old fart’ I’m more of a middle aged one).

Anything else you would like to add??
Buy my CD or I'll bitch slap you.

Kim Smith Guest Writer