For the past several years, I’ve been low-key obsessed with melodic progressive house and techno—popping on a chugging, spacey, slowly evolving five-hour mix from the likes of Guy J or Hernan Cattaneo has eased my ADHD and brought some relaxing, connective joy to very stressful times.
One of the trailblazers of the sound, the DJ and producer Lee Burridge, has been so ubiquitous in San Francisco for the past couple decades you would hardly know he was a UK legend whose been at it since 1985—it’s always lovely when he pops in, amping up the ecstasy quotient of any party, from Burning Man to Public Works.
Lee’s new outdoor music festival All Day I Dream is taking place Thu/12-Sun/15 at the dreamy Woodward Reservoir just to the east of us, with a stellar lineup, including Little Dragon, RY X, Guy Gerber, Poolside, and dozens more, including of course Lee himself.
The fest grew out of rooftop parties that Lee began throwing in 2011 in New York, named for his label All Day I Dream, that explored the more melodic side of techno. I spoke with him in advance of the festival (you can still grab tickets here) about its evolution and some great local party memories.
48 HILLS Tell me about your relationship with San Francisco, there’s definitely a deep connection and affection the city holds for you.
LEE BURRIDGE It was a match made in heaven for me from day one. Creativity lies at the heart of pretty much everyone I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting there. Some in small ways and others huge ways. Mix that up with an undying passion for music and fun, and add a dash of weirdness and you had me.
I was lucky enough to live in the city a few times and it just exudes a certain magic that you don’t really find anywhere else. There’s also a loyalty to experience. If someone finds something they love then they LOVE it. It’s carried through the years and is just nurtured more and more each time. I first came to play in 1998 and every time I come back I see friends of old and still make new friends every time. It’s very open and giving and that’s a reciprocal experience for me.
48 HILLS I think the first time I saw you was when you threw a party during Love Parade here back in the mid-2000s. Do you have any memories of that?
LEE BURRIDGE Many many memories including several times driving down the market on a float playing music to all those who were lining the street, dancing and waving until suddenly the wheel fell off the trailor and we were blocking the tram lines and road. Oops.
Somehow we limped into the area by City Hall and were one of the many floats who got to play to THE greatest crowd who ever danced in the Civic Center. I’m so sad that the event got cancelled by the city. It was peaceful. It was safe. It was epic.
48 HILLS How does it feel to see All Day I Dream blossom from a rooftop party 11 years ago into a full-on festival in the countryside?
LEE BURRIDGE Aren’t people my age supposed to be considering retiring haha. Instead I’ve taken on 18-hour days trying to make a festival happen. The rooftop parties over a decade ago had us carrying crazy heavy sub bass speakers up flights of stairs—and now I have an office job. Where did it all go wrong! Haha.
48 HILLS What are a couple memories you have of the All Day I Dream parties that happened along the way?
LEE BURRIDGE It’s always the funny stuff you remember. The first time I took the event out of New York was to Miami during what was then Winter Music Conference. I put the party on in a small and pretty garden in Brickell. Times were a little simpler, and the whole production fitted in a suitcase.
After the event had finished myself and the team were walking down the road and the suitcase wheel fell off. Easier problems back then! I also remember playing an event in LA on a rooftop and Matthew Dekay playing an ambient mix of our track “Fur Die Liebe” as the sun set and seeing people blissing out, crying, hugging, and smiling. That was a perfect moment for me.
48 HILLS I love that “having the wheels come off” has been something consistent for you. How has your music been evolving lately, and what artists are you playing and enjoying? Any new releases on the horizon?
LEE BURRIDGE I’m still working away in the studio with Lost Desert. We have an EP in a few months plus we did a couple of remixes. One is of Elderbrook that’s really very different for us (and for Elderbrook). It sounds like an ’80s New Wave track. We also remixed Rüfüs Du Sol which I’m hoping they’ll release as it’s getting great reactions out at the events.
ALL DAY I DREAM takes place Thu/12-Sun/15 at Woodward reservoir, Oakdale. Tickets and more info here.