Guest of Honour: Electronic dinosaur Lee Burridge

Guest of Honour: Electronic dinosaur Lee Burridge

May 27, 2013 |  by  |  Music
About the author
Laura is a 25 year old nonpracticing psychologist. As a hopeless romantic she loves to write, dream and wander around the city looking for new adventures and inspirations. Stay tuned for an inside peek into the daily life of one of Amsterdam's inhabitants!

He might not be that famous here, but Lee Burrdige is a quite the legend in the electronic music scene. At age 22, he moved from his countryside home to the other side of the world and made major contributions to the now famous Hong Kong rave scene. At age 44 his career extends over at least three continents and keeps expanding with several new projects, one of them being the All Day I Dream label. At the first 32-hour Trouw marathon, he played a melodious set for breakfast.

So how does that feel, getting up so early in the morning to play in club Trouw?
“A bit strange! I was playing in Watergate and it went on until Saturday night. But I had to be sensible, so I went home for a few hours of sleep. That’s what happens when you get old you know, you become sensible.”

That was actually one of my first questions… How do you manage to be that active after so many years, aren’t you a bit tired of the scene?
“No, it was actually a delight to play here. The audience always creates a certain vibe that keeps me active, I’m like a vampire for energy! Apart from Mondays and Tuesdays, then my legs ache a little more than they used to.”

You were 22 when you left for Asia and started building up an entire scene, what was that like?
“Well, much better Chinese food, for one. Being an English colony at the time, Hong Kong was a hub for anyone from the west. It became a melting pot of nationalities, with young people that were travelling around or had just finished work. Everything was open 24/7 and you were constantly getting a fresh load of energy and input.”

You were playing as a top 40 DJ at the local bar there, how did you become the DJ/performer that you are today?
“I loved it there, but playing All That She Wants more than once in your life is definitely a mistake. I hated some of the records so much that I’d nail them to the bar, or even set fire to them. But I did learn how to mix really well. Even when playing horrible pop songs you have to know how to tell a story.”

What about producing? I heard that you made some remixes.
“Yes but they’re terrible! As a musician, you’re so excited about something new that you immediately want to release it. But, and this is a problem in electronic music, there’s no quality control. Most of the times, artists just want to get their work out there because they think it’s going to make them more popular. There should be a music police that gives you a citation. And with three your CDs get locked so you can’t play anymore!”

“Exactly. We’re taking your headphones away!”

How in your opinion has your audience changed over the years?
“Well it’s pretty amazing, people change, but the energy stays the same. It’s always fresh, young and exciting. A lot of people in my crew are a bit older and they often say that it’s not like it used to be. But the scene’s still so strong and people are so passionate. I always compare it to breathing: sometimes it’s expanding, sometimes contracting, but it never really changes.”

One of the first things I discovered about electronic music, is its power to bring all kinds of people together and make them feel connected.

What are your current projects?
“Right now I’m 44, so I can easily do this for ten more years. But I don’t want to be a granddad in the DJ box..”

But you’d be the first electronic granddad, that’s nice!
“A granddad is someone who looks super old… There are some mature DJs though like Nick Warren and Sven Vath, but I want to achieve a lot in ten years and help as many people as I can. Two years ago I started a day party in New York, for various reasons. One of them is that my crowd is a little bit older and stopped going out because they started feeling out of place.”

What kind of party is it?
“It’s from Sunday afternoon until 10 PM. We’re trying to redefine the ‘underground’ scene in the States. It doesn’t have a specific sound or audience, it’s not like here or Berlin. I think a lot of people would like to define what they like and a label can make them feel comfortable with a certain concept.”

Speaking of friendly connected people, you went to Burning Man?
“Eight times now! It’s amazing because it brings people together and lets them live in a community in such a special way. And aside from not being a music festival you have amazing parties! Or you can go for a ride on your bicycle with your eyes closed for 20 minutes, if you’re brave enough. You’re not really going to hit anything, maybe you’ll run into the yoga camp. Or the wife-swapping camp.”

Wife-swapping camp? That sounds interesting.
“There are all sorts of camps, it’s wild! Pretty much everything you can imagine is happening there. And if it’s not, you’ll want to bring it there. Driving around and handing out nachos and cheese, that could be your thing! Or making people smile or read out poetry. It reminds me of the most important things in life.”

Sharing is caring!