Is everything we know about Lee Burridge wrong? RA talks to one of dance music's most misconstrued men.
He's a progressive DJ, isn’t he? Nope. Release a couple of albums on Global Underground and everyone thinks you’re Mr. Prog House, but Lee Burridge has never been a progressive DJ in his life. His GU mix 'Nubreed' from 2001 was actually techy breaks (Rennie Pilgrem, B.L.I.M), Chicago house (Aaron-Carl, Marshall Jefferson) and even techno (Heiko Laux), and if '24:7' was a prog mix, it was the first mix to feature Justus Köhncke, Villalobos and Alter Ego. Not exactly Nick Warren's record box that lot, is it?
So Lee Burridge is a tech house DJ then. Well, not really. Sure, London tech house was part of Burridge and Craig Richards' acclaimed Tyrant sound, but Tyrant never were very purist about the music they played: You were just as likely to hear dub, deep house, bleepy electro or techno in Tyrant sets as you were tech house, and anyway, if anything Craig Richards was the tech house half of the duo. Not exactly Terry Francis or the Wiggle crew as far as pushing a singular aesthetic goes.
Well, we can be certain Burridge was never a trancer at least. Think again. In the mid-nineties, Burridge actually started out in Asia spinning trance at superclub nights like Cream in Hong Kong and to beaches full of hippies at full-moon parties in Thailand. It wasn't until Sasha and Craig Richards invited him back to England that Burridge and Richards' sound became a staple of Saturday nights in the capital.
But that's all history now. What exactly does Lee Burridge play these days? Well, if you're thinking of going along to a Burridge night as an escape from the tsunami wave of minimal and neo-Detroit hitting clubs, think again. These days his box is packed with the housier end of the latest hot young things: Audion, Exercise One, Martin Buttrich, Donnacha Costello, 2000 And One and Fuckaponydelic to name a few. Even his own new track 'Treat 'Em Mean Keep 'Em Keen' – yes, he's started dabbling in production again - is a messy minimal affair.
Maybe Burridge is so misunderstood because he never stays in one place too long. Instead of releasing mix CDs to capture a particular sound, he spends most of his time travelling the clubs of the world on a seemingly neverending 365 tour. RA caught up with one of dance music's most misunderstood men, and found him in a jolly mood.