Lee Burridge

Global Underground: NuBreed

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This entry into the ongoing Global Underground series represents perhaps the most eclectic mix to date, as Lee Burridge manages to teeter somewhere between straight-ahead mid-tempo house rhythms and dynamic breaks. And he doesn't just follow house records with breaks, but rather spins tracks that feature both styles of beats interwoven within the rhythms. So, given this untraditional approach, Burridge presents a set that's, at the least, always interesting. You're never quite sure where he's headed -- sometimes moving away from breaks towards a more grounded, 4/4 rhythm, other times doing quite the opposite. Furthermore, the ubiquitous progressive sound that has so long been a staple of the Global Underground series is, for the most part, absent here. Yet as unique as this album is within the context of the other Global Underground albums, it's not without flaws. In particular, the first set often drags, with its somewhat plodding tempo and lack of progressive elements. Sure, some DJs can get away with playing progressive tracks for five or more minutes, given the ever-evolving nature of that style. But Burridge's records aren't usually progressive and often get monotonous after a few minutes, making you wish he would either mix into the next track sooner or spin records that have a greater sense of development. The second set more than compensates though, as Burridge goes with a more dynamic selection of tracks that is heavier on breaks than the first. You get the feeling that this is where Burridge excels. He's not afraid to take chances on the second set, and often makes some stunning mixes that stand out more than the tracks themselves. So, in the end, even if Burridge is a little too conservative in terms of mixing on the first set, the second set is worth investigating on its own. Few DJs are going to offer a mix this daring, and even fewer are capable of handling the tricky transitions from breaks to house as smoothly as Burridge does.

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