Hi Lee, thanks for doing the interview. Where are you and what are you doing?
Hello there, I am at home in Florida doing DJ mixes and interviews after a crazy few days on the road. I just did a 4 gig weekend which ended up in San Francisco @ Love Evolution. One of the craziest street parties I think I have ever seen…someone said 100,000 people came this year..
Tell us a bit about your new album 'Light And Dark' - has it been a long time in the making? What kind of sound can we expect on this album?
It’s Tech Funk in all its forms really. I have tried to push the boundaries a little with some slower BPM’s but keeping the energy up there. It’s definitely the best production I have ever done and I’m very pleased with the result. Also I can’t resist making Acid House music so there are a couple of those there too. And some vocals, I did a remake of Echo and the Bunnymen – Rescue called ‘Blues I’m singing’ which gives the album an anthem style track to finish on. It a musical journey of where I have been lately.
You're now based in the US, do you think this has had an influence on the sound of 'Light And Dark'?
Yes a little, I have always been inspired by the sounds that have come out of the West coast of the US, I’m into hypnotic grooves and there is plenty of that over there. But also I’m influenced by anything that sounds good. I’m a music lover and anything that I come across can influence me at any time whether it’s dance music or not.
Check out Lee rocking the San Francisco Love Evolution party last weekend...
You're a regular at the infamous Burning Man festival which has been getting a lot of attention in the UK recently. Can you tell the readers a bit more about the festival and what impact it's had on you as a DJ and artist?
I first went to Burning Man in 2005, it blew me away with the creativity that exists over there. When you realize the effort that people go to it makes you think again about what you are doing yourself. I have friends who work for the whole year on their art pieces just so they can show it for a week in the desert. Just getting everything there and back again is an achievement. DJ’s have it easy in that respect as they just have to turn up with their Cd’s.. Most people who play music out there are part of a crew and they all have responsibilities in the running of their camps. It’s a giant community and a lot of fun to be part of. It really is another world.
What would you say are the main differences between the UK and the US club scenes?
Well it depends where you go in the US and what you are looking for. Pretty much the same as the UK really. There are a lot of clubs in the US that concentrate on VIP and bottle service, it’s business really. Then cities like San Francisco have everything to choose from pretty similar to London. Warehouse parties and underground nights as well as more upscale events and huge festivals. I would say there are more of the VIP style clubs in the US where as there are probably more Underground style clubs in the UK.
Do you have any plans to move back to the UK?
No, not at the moment. I’m just getting my Green card so I think I’ll use that for a bit.
'Right Now' has been a huge track for you over the summer, how did the collaboration with Uberzone come about?
I hit up ‘Q’ (Uberzone) a long time ago, we used to chat occasionally over email and as I moved to the US I called him to see if he would be up for it. We worked really well together and the track just seemed to write itself. Q taught me a huge amount about studio production which really helped in the writing of my album as I made the decision to do all the work myself this time. It was really cool seeing how Q processed the sounds as we made them and got them into the computer. A great lesson in ‘less is more’..
Do you have any plans for more collaborations in the future?
I have talked with Q about doing some more tracks and he is up for it, but that is it for collabs for the moment. I think I am having too much fun writing stuff on my own to feel the need to write with someone else.
It's been a long career in music for you, looking back over the past ten years what have been the highlights for you?
It’s been a huge rollercoaster of a ride, when things really started kicking off around 1998 it was very exciting. Lots of new music and good fun, I think when I started to get some big remix work was one of the biggest highlights. I could only dream of mixing bands like New Order, Lamb, Moby, Planet funk and so on..
Then when I visited San Francisco for the first time I really new I was onto something. There were so many like minded people and I fell in love with the vibe over there. That’s why I made it my home. That led on to the Burning Man experience, which can have a huge effect on your life. Well it did mine anyway.
I’ve always loved my DJing, and have consistently had great gigs all over the world. The highlights I suppose are Breakfest Perth in Australia 2005, Numerous gigs in San Francisco big and small, Burning Man every year from 2005, and recently I played Bangkok, Thailand and Osaka, Japan, which made me feel very special indeed.
And looking forward to the future, is there anything big coming up that we should be excited about?
Well I’m really looking forward to my Album release party on Saturday 10th October @ Hub, London. Will be great to see all the crew again. I have a new remix coming on Cable recordings out of San Fran very soon which I road tested last weekend. It went down very well, very futuristic techno vibes. I’ll be writing a lot more solo stuff and have some great ideas so I can wait to get cracking in the studio.
Thanks Lee! Check out Lee's latest promo mix and if you're in the area make sure you catch him at his album launch this Saturday...
Lee Coombs Light & Dark Album Launch Party Promo Mix by LOT49