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Q&A - Lee Burridge

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, 15 October 2007
Chatting about DJ Mag's annual top 100 poll, Lee Burridge admits he's no big fan of the always-controversial poll (it's 'never really reflective of skill'), though saves his sharpest criticism for the genre that always dominates - trance.

"You can't deny that trance music is much more immediate and easy to understand. It's not too challenging, has instant hooks, drama and suits ecstasy taking with all its emotional melodic lines. As a 15- or 17-year old (or actually whatever age you are), it's fun," he concedes.

And as for the DJs-

"There are a bunch of lazy, high-paid DJs out there using Ableton to the least of its capability, who are going through the motions. They should retire now, as they never deliver," Lee storms.

"Tiesto is not particularly a good DJ, but he play music that masses of young kids want to hear.

"I would never expect to draw anywhere near the amount of people he attracts, but [I] am definitely a better DJ than him technically."

A close friend of make-up loving Danny Howells ("Danny and I go shopping to Boots once a month to check out the new colour lines") he's also happy to mock most superstar DJs' dress sense, as well as many of their performance abilities behind the decks.

"I think we need a resurgence of DJs with an image instead of jeans and a T-shirt. Come on, people, lets get all glam again.

"The return of the shiny shirt can surely only be a few years away."

"And as for performing, there are loads of DJs who look like they're cardboard cut-outs, as they never seem to move, but each to their own," he laughs.

"Personally, I just can't stand still and do all these odd hand dances while leaping off stuff and up and down and God knows what else, but that's just me dancing to the music I like.

"People always seem to say I'm a performer but that's exactly what I'd be doing on the dance floor if I were out."

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Turning to the Balance compilation: how seriously do you take compilations: how much difference can they make to your career; can they bring loads more bookings-
Lee Burridge: "I love doing compilations and always take a lot of pride making them. I understand that they can be used by DJs simply as a way of garnering press and attention, but I feel you're putting something out there forever, so it should be your best work.

"I think of them as a way of sharing records I like with people who may not buy singles but enjoy my music or dance music in general. I'm not sure it will lead to more bookings, unless someone adds another weekend night in there for me. I'm already super-busy with the tour to support this release. If you are looking long term, if it's heard by promoters that haven't booked me before then maybe it will help."

Are compilations a chance to redefine your sound-
"My 'sound' has changed a lot since my first comp, but I'm always looking for new and different music generally. I've never really got excited about playing the same-sounding music for years on end so I guess there's a danger that by the time I've mixed the CD and it's been released (which usually takes four-to-six months) that my 'sound' might have actually moved on again. A mix CD and a club set are, for me, two very different things.

"It's difficult to capture a night in a club on discs, as usually the listener isn't in the middle of the dance floor with a thousand other people listening to disc two over a 10k system. I do feel, though, that my Balance release is the closest representation I've got to me in a club since Craig Richards and I released our Tyrant CDs."

How interested are you in being seen as a cutting edge DJ- How much attention do you pay to trends-
"I haven't followed a trend since beige Chino jeans were all the rage in our village. Being 'cutting edge' isn't something I aspire to. As a DJ, I just buy and play the records I like. 'Cutting edge' always depends on who you ask. I'm sure for some
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