Label of the Month: All Day I Dream

Harry Levin talks to All Day I Dream founder Lee Burridge about his label and party series, which helped give birth to the organic house sound.

16 min
LOTM ADID Beatportal
Jul 6, 2021
Harry Levin

To be a DJ, producer, world-traveler, event curator, and label head is a path coveted by many, and attained by few. It’s a dream job, and Lee Burridge is one of a handful of individuals to have it. But his job goes much further than any literal activities within dance music. His job is turning daydreams into reality.

The daydreams of his fans, of his signees, his own daydreams. They have all manifested under the sunny sky of Burridge’s globe-trotting party series and record label, All Day I Dream (ADID).

Dreams are like creativity. They all come from nothing. They are born within the subconscious, an abyss of the mind that someone fills with their truest intentions and desires. It is only when the dreamer decides to act that they make their dreams reality.

In his younger days, Burridge’s daydreams consisted of “finding big bags of money on the ground,” he jokes, as he dials in from Bali. That is one dream he couldn’t bring into the physical plane, but a decade after ADID came to fruition, his daydreams have become founded in selflessness — creating something from nothing for the sake of others.

“I’m not really one for daydreaming about material items. More so about helping, in a tiny way, the world to be a more positive place,” Burridge says. “I dream that we can be the glue between connectivity and happiness.”

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After solidifying his intentions, the next step was putting in the work to make his dreams into something he could share with others. For Burridge, that journey began with the music itself. Before there were ADID events or a label, he was vigorously searching record shops and label catalogs for a subtle, melodic genre of house; one that would come to be known as organic house.

Burridge had heard this sound sparsely throughout his years as a DJ, but at the time there were very few artists producing it. However, with Burridge’s extensive efforts he was able to find enough music to make a DJ mix of organic house. He shared the mix with friends and family (who all adored the fresh energy) and began making the genre a staple of his DJ sets.

It was after witnessing the immense reaction to organic house that Burridge resolved to begin hosting his own events, bringing ADID into reality in 2007.

“The initial idea that I had for All Day I Dream was to create an event where people resonated with the feeling of the event and the emotion of the music,” Burridge says. “As soon as I did the first event, I instantly wanted to take these day-parties everywhere if I could.”

Dragon-tinged alleyways in Los Angeles. Rooftops of New York City skyscrapers. Brazilian beach clubs nestled among adjacent forests. Turkey. Russia. Greece. Everywhere people can dance, Burridge has done his best to welcome them into the physical manifestation of his daydreams.

There are certain criteria inseparable from the aesthetic of an ADID event. First and foremost, these are outdoor, daytime parties. Every event on the schedule has to have enough daylight to watch the sky shift over the course of several hours. No matter the topography and decorum of the venue itself, the sky is a constant.

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“With the sky, there’s so much of it. There is so much space. To me that equals freedom. People are able to be energetically free,” Burridge says. “I love nightclubs, but there’s a pressure in nightclubs. It’s an intense experience. The sky is freedom, it’s the complete opposite. There’s a complete openness. It allows people, myself included, to flow better.”

The sky resonates with Burridge on such a profound level that the event posters, the release artwork for the label, the announcements for All Day I Stream — the weekly stream ADID ran throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — feature a clear sky with one lone cloud.

“Sitting and trying to focus on how clouds evolve or devolve and move, it has a very dreamlike state to it,” Burridge says

Burridge’s fascination with the motion of clouds is shared by Sebastian Leger, a resident of ADID. Seeing the branding caught Leger’s attention, and experiencing the events drew him in.

“I was thinking that finally there was a party where colors and daylight were a thing that was actually happening rather than those dark warehouses,” Leger says.

Burridge recounts numerous sets at ADID events where he found himself bathing in the prismatic colors of daylight, remaining so completely aligned with the environment and the crowd that his song selections have faded into memory. The music is merely another entry in the energy exchange happening amidst the decor of the venue, the imagery of the sky, and the interactions occurring on the dancefloor.

This is the environment of Burridge’s daydreams, and like so many daydreams it has been recurring for decades as he’s traveled abroad. He recalls Thailand sunrises at the first full moon parties back in the 1990s. His mind then moves to Burning Man, which is a primary influence of ADID events. Like with dreams, Burning Man is something that comes from nothing.

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“Burning man is a mute palette, one color. But I saw how material moved in the wind or how art pieces looked,” Burridge says. “Some of our early venues were very blunt, hard surface, monotone, gray, cement surroundings in industrial areas, but it really makes the decor pop.”

If Burridge had his choice, the events would mostly happen far out in nature, and many of them have. But with his hard work and the hard work of his stellar team of designers handling the decor, Burridge can take ADID events “anywhere there is a good soundsystem,” he says.

Dance music has always been a welcoming culture. There are people living in every corner of this planet who dream of a place where they can forget about their troubles amongst kind individuals in a beautiful setting. To this day Burridge continues his efforts to bring that dream into reality.

“I’ve had 60-plus people tell me they’ve met their significant other who they are now married to at All Day I Dream. That’s one of the things I’m going to be the most proud of in my whole life. I literally created an environment where people fell in love,” Burridge says. “Bringing together like-minded individuals who would become friends or more is something I wanted to aspire to.”

On a macro-scale, this aspiration can’t be fathomed. The number of relationships — platonic, romantic, professional or otherwise — that have occurred because of ADID is immeasurable.

On a micro-scale, this aspiration is measurable in the form of ADID’s record label, launched officially in 2011.

The imprint has had a relatively sparse catalog throughout its life — less than 80 total releases so far. In the early stages this was due to supply and demand, and his search for artists was an extension of the work he put in to find music for his own sets.

“The first four years was the exploratory phase when I was really trying to find artists that actually made this music,” Burridge says. “You would find a track on the b-side of something. Kollektiv Turmstrasse were really inspirational to me. That was their sound, but to find other artists was impossible.”

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Later on, as organic house grew in popularity — due in large part to ADID events — Burridge maintained a sparse release schedule, even as he began receiving more demos.

“I didn’t really want to have more than [one release per month] because personally, I don’t think it allows the music time to breathe,” Burridge says. “It’s just an endless production line of music that you’re putting out and I think that only really benefits the label more so than the artists themselves.”

Signing new artists to ADID is a process Burridge takes very seriously. Unlike the other aspects of the brand for which he employs a team, he handles the A&R on his own, spending an “inordinate” amount of time listening to demos from new potential artists.

But making good music is just one part of the process. Burridge isn’t only signing music. He’s bringing people into a family. A family he created from nothing. Everyone has to be the right fit. Energetically, philosophically, personally.

“I like to get to know the people themselves,” Burridge says. “I can generally feel the honesty and the authenticity and the kindness in people, especially when they’re not there yet. There’s so much passion for it and so much excitement and so much effort from new people.”

When Burridge signs new artists to ADID, he makes a commitment to them. He commits to helping them reach their dreams because he understands what it’s like to build something from nothing. Everyone chasing a career in music will face this prospect one way or the other.

“Nobody taught us how to do this. We just bumbled forward into it,” Burridge says. “We’re all just sitting in our little black t-shirts trying to figure out what the hell to do in dance music, and how to do it. You just go on faith and hopefully talent.”

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Burridge rewards the faith and talent of his label artists in every way he can. He invites them to play multiple events in different markets and frequently brings them back again for numerous releases. Whether a spot on a compilation, another EP, or even an album, as is the case with Pippi Ciez, whose album Multiple of Three will be out later this year on ADID.

“Lee was that doorkeeper,” Ciez says. “He made it very clear from the start how he felt about my energy and my music, and he gave me a sense of direction of what he would do when the time was right. Now I am seeing every promise he made to me come true day after day.”

“I don’t build the boat. I don’t drive the boat. I just give the boat a little push. These artists are already talented. They just need an opportunity,” Burridge says.

Burridge imparts this philosophy to all artists on the ADID catalog, and the result is greater than a group of talented people who are all friends. The result is an ecosystem of creators who push each other to be better. Younger talents provide new life, established acts impart wisdom. A group of individuals who share the same dream.

“I remember it being a handful of brothers and sisters. Now I’m more like the long-hair grey-beard hippy uncle who can’t remember all their names,” chuckles Lost Desert — real name Patrick Bruyndonx. “That being said, I’m still honored to be in the ever-growing family, and some youngsters keep inspiring me.”

Bruyndonx made his first entry in the ADID catalog back in 2016 on a joint EP with Burridge entitled Lingala. It was right around the time when Burridge no longer had trouble finding new artists making music fit for ADID.

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In 2021, so many artists are making music of that style that Burridge will soon launch a sister label to ADID called All Day I Dream In Waves, or In Waves for short.

This new imprint will retain the sonic colors integral to the ADID sound, but instead of adhering to open-air dancefloors, In Waves releases will be set against a different yet equally dreamlike setting.

“I wanted to push the boundaries a little bit more and explore the melodic sound in different directions. It still can be house but also the more ambient-leaning classical music,” Burridge says. “We’re going deeper, so we decided to go with the ocean, and so the cloud has been replaced with a jellyfish which are kind of the clouds of the ocean. We have the sky. We have the ocean. We’ve got nature covered.”

Burridge continues on to muse about the kind of events he could throw to coincide with the aquatic branding of In Waves. Perhaps scuba-based parties? Maybe a platform floating out in the ocean? Just dreams — for now.

He did dream up the ADID events, the labels, and helped to kickstart a movement based around a fledgling sound. Now organic house has become one of the mainstays in dance music. All of that came from nothing. Stands to reason Burridge could create anything as long as he has the courage to dream it.

Harry Levin is a freelance journalist living in Los Angeles, connect with him on Linkedin.

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