We’re all in this together. No one is really more important than anyone else. Even if I do get to stand on a box that’s a little higher than the rest of the club, I feel the same as everyone else. To me it’s all about the music. I’m just one of the crowd.
One of the greatest things about music is it’s ability to take us beyond the attraction of a certain genre or sound. Music has the power to rouse some of our deepest emotions, while opening our minds to a magical world of expression and creativity. The ability of music to bring people together is quite simply, remarkable. We are lucky to have so many talented artists who devote their lives to music and transforming it into a spectrum of emotion that is shared through sound…and those emotions are some of the most wonderful feelings in life, wouldn’t you say?
Lee Burridge defines this type of artist, while also being a legend in the industry, a DJ’s favourite DJ and an absolute master of bringing sound to life. His inspiring and eccentric persona is the cherry on top to the brilliant music he shares with the world. As the electronic music scene continues to thrive, Burridge has been busier than ever. His All Day I Dream brand with Matthew Dekay has created a whole new genre of dreamy, melodic house that has taken the industry by storm. The world just keeps falling deeper in love with everything Burridge gives us, and Toronto couldn’t have been more thrilled with his latest set, which he played for us at CODA last month.
We were all disappointed when Lee was unable to make his Toronto set at Electric Island this past summer, so there was no way we were going to miss him this time around. On Saturday, September 19th, Lee Burridge graced us with an extended set, that will stay in our minds forever. Godzilla Disco is very happy to share with you, some inspiring words from Lee:
First off, welcome back to Toronto! What excites you most about playing here before our crowds?
Thanks. I’m always really happy to return to Toronto. I’ve been a fan of the city and the people here since my first visit in 1999. I love what Joel and Steph have built in the city. Firstly, with Footwork and now Coda. Their crowd has always resonated with me and the music I play, and I feel we’ve grown together. I love the affinity and the trust they afford me when I play.
Where to even begin with Burning Man… you are a staple that comes along with the music and vision that Burning Man is. You have been going strong for over 10 years now. I’m sure a million memories come to mind, but what are a few of the most magical things you experienced over the years – or, anything particular about this year you’d like to share?
I’ve been lucky enough to be able to return to that magical place out in the dust for ten consecutive years. It’s the central point to my year. Either the point I’m heading towards or away from and it always provides me with a great deal of inspiration on so many levels. Both as a creative artist and a member of this planet. Obviously I love playing music out there (it’s always my favourite gig of the year) but it’s not the reason I go.
Music has become the spark to many who haven’t been there yet that eventually gets them to go, but I feel it’s important to keep expressing that BM isn’t a music festival. If you decide to go, try not to look at it as you would any other conventional festival. Thinking of it as a music festival can limit the experience you can have. In the past ten years, of course, playing certain tracks or sets that (I think) enhance the visual surrounding, amongst crazily dressed beautiful souls with art cars shooting fire in to the air and those gorgeous sunrises are pretty special in my mind, but it’s always the scale and creativity of the art projects that stay with me. The “wow” factor of seeing things you’ve never seen before in the wilderness with so much space around them. That’s the magic. Also, the characters and their outfits make you smile and swoon. People are pretty creative and deeply funny.
Playing the sunrise Robot Heart set at Burning Man is an experience that only one could dream of, is it possible to even begin to describe what this experience means to you?
Wet panties (male version). Hmmm. that actually sounds like incontinence when I read it again. That’s the best I’ve got for you.
Music has become the spark to many who haven’t been there [Burning Man] yet, that eventually gets them to go, but I feel it’s important to keep expressing that BM isn’t a music festival. If you decide to go, try not to look at it as you would any other conventional festival. Thinking of it as a music festival can limit the experience you can have.
From All Day I Dream’s first event on a Brooklyn rooftop to worldwide events year round – how does it feel to see ADID grow to such a remarkable brand? What were some of the highlights of 2015?
I feel really warm and fuzzy that something I dreamt of seven years ago has come to fruition. I was playing all this music when ever I could and there was one particular after hours at BPM in Mexico forever and a day ago where I decided that I really needed to take it to a larger audience. I really believe(d) in this music and the feeling it evokes. This year I’d say the highlights have been building the ADID family. Deeply talented artists I love that through ADID can begin to expose their music and DJ talents in a suitable environment. Seeing Powel, Lauren Ritter, Oona Dahl, Hoj, Yokoo and others play amazing sets and get such a brilliant response was special to me. Also, Matthew and I playing back to back at the first San Francisco ADID this summer was perfect. The connection with the audience in SF where we’ve not put on an event before was breath taking. Oh, and I just closed out ADID in New York at the venue (the Brooklyn mirage) that allowed us to grow our crowd this summer had me in tears. The main reason being is even though the crowd has over doubled in size we’ve not lost the intimacy and connection or passion our dreamers exude. Magic!
The ADID project and label signified a new direction for your music. What were the changes taking place in your life that urged you to launch the project?
I was really just drawn to the emotive music and was a little over simply playing drum grooves and using energy as the main element in sets. It was great to dance to but a little unmemorable for me. You didn’t really take away any moments from a night. I wanted to put some love back in to the dance floor and the crowd. To connect people to each other through a more musical experience.
Producing with another artist or playing b2b is one thing, but your musical connection with Matthew Dekay is remarkable. How did the initial connection with Matthew begin?
We’d been told we should meet and we would get on by mutual friends for years. One fateful night in New York that eventually happened. We talked like we’d known each other for years and, the rest is, well, history. I love Matthew on many levels and respect his vision and talent more than anything. He’s my favourite producer and a rather special friend. We have a weird synchronicity though. If I have a tooth ache. He has a tooth ache. Bad day. Me too. It’s actually a little spooky.
Early in your career, you spent a lot of time in Asia and you’ve been credited for being a key player in the helping to launch the underground scene in Hong Kong. What were you doing over there in the early 90s? Do you still have a big involvement in the scene over there?
I was there as I’d actually been hired for my first ever full time job as a DJ. I was playing chart music in a bar called Joe Bananas. As for helping launch the underground scene it was all down to timing really. There wasn’t much else going on there underground wise, apart from a fantastic local DJ called Joel Lai who was building the underground scene for a mainly Chinese crowd. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to become one of the main pillars for the underground scene frequented mostly by the expats and travellers who found themselves working in HK, earning money to continue their journeys. They would tend to stay for one to two years and also with their help we would all mould a pretty crazy and wild dance scene. Obviously Joel and I tried to meld the two crowds and, at times, this worked but the transience of my crowd caused ups and downs with the regular faces and with the scene in general. I do go back every few years, but things have moved on since my years there and it’s not, for me at least, that bumping anymore. But, things can change in a moment so watch this space.
You are a master in the industry, yet your persona is very humble, down to earth, and your connection with your fans is so admirable. Why are these characteristics so important for you to maintain?
Simple. We’re all in this together. No one is really more important than anyone else. Even if I do get to stand on a box that’s a little higher than the rest of the club I feel the same as everyone else. To me it’s all about the music. I’m just one of the crowd.
Besides music, what are some of your greatest loves or passions in life?
My girlfriend. Love is a beautiful thing isn’t it. I really like to cook too. I find it therapeutic and meditative. I go see as much art as possible when I visit cities for more than ten seconds. Oh, and I love going to the movies.
Thank you for sharing your time with us! Your music inspires us in many ways and reminds us of the powerful magic that exists in all of us!