Looking forward to every gig, every weekend…
Words: Hector Westropp
Mr Lee Brinx. Say that name to any DJ that knows a thing or two about the house scene and they will instantly start smiling. Starting young, he made his name in the world of garage before moving on to the world of progressive house, before long finding himself out in Ibiza appearing at Space, Privilege, The Zoo project, El Divino and Es Paradis as well as gaining residency at the infamous Milk Bar.
This rapid success followed him back home to East London where he secured residency at Creche before running ‘OFF KEY’, whose devastating lineups included names such as Sasha, Seth Troxler and Jamie Jones. Never content to simply enjoy success, Lee pushed on, creating the label ‘Lower East’ with Cozzy D and Ed Kane, a label that has become synonymous with some truly astonishing four to the floor productions.
We caught up with him to learn a little about the man behind the decks and try and find the recipe to his success.
Who were your most influential artists growing up and how did they help you decide what kind of sound you wanted to find?
In a massively condensed chronological order, up to my late teens, it would probably read something like this: Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Cypress Hill, 2 Bad Mice, Moving Shadow, Randall, Masters At Work, Tuff Jam, Todd Edwards… Nothing really helped me decide what I wanted to look for; I simply seemed to stumble across it.
Do you still find time to keep up your hobbies (like the guitar) or are you a bit of a workaholic?
I haven’t played the guitar for a long time but whenever I see one I always pick it up (if I can) I’ve been meaning to get a new one for ages. I go to the gym infrequently and Thai box, apart from that raving is pretty much my main hobby.
Was there a moment you can remember when you decided that the top 40 just didn’t give you what you needed anymore?
I was never a real pop music follower, my parents were very much into Soul and rare groove so that was my first love, then I got into bands and then at around 11 I discovered electronic music, to which I swayed towards more and more.
You were still in your teens when you found success in Ibiza, what do you think it was that really set you apart from the competition?
Being in the right place at the right time had a lot to do with it. I went out there, records under arm, in the April of 2000, and for 2 weeks went in every bar I came across and asked for work but constantly drew a blank. Then I met 3 guys that had just bought an after party venue called The Milk Bar (now the Vodafone shop in San Antonio). They were looking for a DJ, they gave me a trial, liked what I played and I got the job – 6 hours a day, every morning from 6am till midday.
At the time I was mainly playing garage, which was quite hard to find out there, so when the season properly kicked and all the big Garage parties from London arrived – Pure Silk, La Cosa Nostra, etc, word spread about the Milk Bar. The promoters started coming in after their raves, liked my music and started booking me for pre–parties and eventually the main events. By the end of that summer I had played main room sets at El Divino and Es Paradise Summum.
Lower East has been running for two years now, do you think the label has achieved what you were aiming for when you first started it?
Our original goal was simply to create an outlet for music from ourselves and our friends that we felt may otherwise go unnoticed. With the growth we have experienced, obviously that goal has grown and we now seek quality music from around the globe. Our next ‘Inner Circles’ compilation is out at the end of august and as well as featuring tracks from the usual suspects we are introducing artists from Germany, France, Spain, Poland and Mexico.
Do you see yourself staying with the UK underground scene or do you want to take a tour around the US and Europe with the label?
Absolutely, our sound is already starting to slowly seep into these territories, this year I’ve played in the likes of San Francisco, Norway, Portugal and Mexico, so of course we want to take the brand more global.
With so much digital material out there now what do you see as the future of house, especially production?
The more music that becomes accessible the better from a consumer prospective, Beatport alone has about six thousand releases a week! More and more people are also starting to produce, which in turn means more music, eventually we may follow in similar steps to some dubstep labels where labels are giving away their music free – who knows what’s round the corner?
Do you still get excited about certain nights and events now or do you take most things in your stride?
Of course – I buzz off every gig. I love playing music, the day I lose that passion is the day I’ll hang up my headphones!
Are there any artists that you haven’t had the chance to work with yet which you really want to?
I’d be here all day answering that!
What would be your one piece of advice you wish you were given when you started out?
Be prepared for the long haul!
What is the track guaranteed to get people pumped up on the dance floor right now?
“Make It” featuring Sasha D Flame by Le Vinyl & Gelebert
What’s your song you put on when you are just on the train or chilling out?
Ananda Project – “Cascades Of Colour”
What is your guilty pleasure track?
Luther Vandross – “Never to Much”
Is there anything coming up you are looking forward to?
Every gig! Every weekend!
Catch up with Lee’s gig’s, he’s playing at some of the biggest warehouse parties so get yourself down and get involved!
Lee Brinx’s Networks
Facebook | RA | Soundcloud | Lower East | The Lower Agency |