Lee Burridge - The Well-Balanced Traveller
Friday, 31 August 2007
Lee Burridge has had all sorts of love affairs during the course of his life, including those with Sander Kleinenberg and those with Steve Porter. Essentially though, he is a laid back Brit who has touched every corner of the globe with his music. In fact, he’s made a specific point of doing so.
His 365 project (two month stints in clubs around the world such as Sydney, New York and Paris over the course of a year) has taken him to major cities he has called home for a longer period.
“The whole thing was an amazing experience,” he says. “It’s on a bit of a hiatus at the moment because I’ve just spent two months working on the new Balance CD, but I’m going to fire back up again next year – it’s a great love of mine.
“In a lot of ways too, it was an interesting sort of experiment in being a DJ. I learnt more about a crowd by playing in different cities than I ever have. It allowed me to stretch my legs musically; next time around I’ll choose some less obvious cities than Hong Kong and Sydney and New York. I want to visit places like Moscow again and stay there. I’m a vegetarian and it can be hard to eat in a lot of places. In Romania for example, finding vegetarian food isn’t easy.”
Now the poor bugger is recovering from a nasty cold, the result of trying to bundle a hectic DJ schedule with some sightseeing in Berlin.
“Anyway, all of that is irrelevant!” he cuts off. “We’ve got this CD out and that’s the most exciting thing!”
So Burridge, what was it like to receive the phone call requesting his services for Balance-
“Man, I’m the best DJ in the world and they wanted me bad!” he says, tongue-in-cheek. “In previous versions, the artists they’ve selected have been on the edge and played it safe. I got talking with Tom and he asked me if I was interested. I’d been waiting to do a CD for a year and wanted to do something fun but not necessarily with a brand name. I didn’t want my name to be associated with that.
“This is for all the right reasons. Tom does his work from the heart. The roster has been great and I feel like I’m moving the series forward, almost like a departure. These DJs were pushing the boundaries but weren’t necessarily the biggest names of their time.”
Regardless, the Balance 12 compilation is a collection of some 40 tracks. The idea was to have the three CDs work together as a representation of a club set.
“It has a beginning, middle and an end,” he says. “Not many people are going to put four hours of CDs on back to back, so each had to work in its own right. The first CD, for example, is a slightly more melancholy number; like a chill out CD but if you turn it up it has a little more oomph. The second is techier so doesn’t trickle along like the first, and the third is altogether more ballsy. I almost gave up on the three CD concept actually but one morning I tackled it and it all came together – and that final disc is the one with the real journey.”
Then there’s the tour where Burridge visits Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth in a matter of days.
“Then it’s off to the hospital for a drip!” he jokes. “I will be playing a cross section of music from the CD – call it inconsistent with consistency! There are some key records there but also a bunch of old stuff. It will be a bit of a surprise!”
Expect to hear bits of everything from stints in Ibiza to the USA and back again to Sydney.
All he has ever hoped was to make music that gave him the chance to express himself. Even as far back as his love affair with the great Sander Kleinenberg.
“We did have this secret love affair that we kept hidden for quite a while – we did some compilations on G.U and Renaissance,” he says. “He was really supportive of me – and we got this kind of crossover support from a similar bunch of people who might not necessarily listen to both of us. Like everything I guess, music is hard work but the sound evolves.”
In some ways, Burridge feels that progressive house is a sound that dried up.
“Everyone made a sound that sounded like everyone else’s you eventually end up with nothing,” he says. “It needed it’s time to evolve, sure – the most important thing is that the people in the scene now are new and young and fresh and the sound of today has a really nice crisp edge to it.”
WHO: Lee Burridge
WHAT: Balance 12 / Plays Sweet Chilli at the Civic
WHEN: Out now through EQ/Stomp / Friday 7 September