By Frank Duke
Photos by Kayode Lowo
Lee Burridge is more than just a music trendsetter, he is a conceptualizer. He knows how to capture an idea, communicate it seamlessly to an audience, and create an atmosphere that is bar none.
I say "thank you" to the tenants at the entryway of Halo Lounge, go through a sleek metal door, and then begin to create focus on the suave maroon design of the venue. A dull orange glow from a marble slab that surfaces the bar draws my attention. I grab a few drinks and begin to socialize with some friends.
We stand around the black cocktail tables in front the bar where people gravitate to for shots, laughter, and chatter. It feels like an upscale watering hole. Savages standing around, blabbering on and on, looking for a mate, and exercising their livers and lungs.
The venue is still filling up with people, but there is an already established movement of shadows in every pocket of the venue.
Some have already occupied the VIP areas with perspective bottles and hookahs. Others are upstairs with Bobi Stevkovski, the opening DJ, getting the dance floor warm together. The rest of the people are checking out the venue or relaxing on the lounge furniture.
Beginning to make my way up to the dance floor to see some rearrangements to the space, I walk the platformed staircase. The staircases in the venue can be difficult after some shots at Apres Diem and a beer in hand. Just as long as you watch your step, your equilibrium, and the people around you, it’s certainly a manageable journey to the dance floor.
I get to the top of the summit, say "hello" to friends, begin grooving, and check out the rearrangements. The DJ booth has been moved from prior occasions. Some speakers have been shifted around. The atmosphere of room feels very different. All of these new rearrangements brought a more comfortable experience. I liked it a lot. It’s a unique layout that will stand out in Atlanta.
You can’t see the DJ booth very well from all spots on the dance floor, but that is what makes this very unique. It quickly becomes more about hearing the music, rather than watching a DJ. The minimal and dim lighting shines mostly from the bar areas creating a nice glow over the dance floor.
Fast forward to a packed venue with the diorama bouncing big time, watering hole full of laughter and joy, and socializing in every corner.
The music Bobi is playing felt as though my ears were dehydrated and I just got some fresh water from the well. Fresher than a loaf of sourdough bread that was just pulled out of the oven.
Bobi has really been making waves recently. Every set I feel his innovation pushing forward, his passion for a first-rate vibe, and his magnificent personality on spotlight the whole time. He has recently been focusing on a low-end groove that is very tough to accomplish. There is a need to have a track selection that communicates along with an idea that coincides with the headlining artist. It was apparent that Bobi knew what he was doing and where he wanted the vibe to go. It clearly went.
Lee Burridge, the mastermind behind All Day I Dream, is more than just a trendsetter. He is a visionary. He developed the concept for All Day I Dream on a rooftop in Brooklyn NYC. Throwing consistently successful Sunday afternoon parties with an Eastern Asian inspired decor, artistically forward thinking music, drawing a most diverse fan base.
He takes the reigns behind the booth on the diorama. The transition between Bobi and Lee initiates with an atmospheric bliss contrasted with strong melodies and staccato baselines. It was almost if they were having a conversation musically about how they are doing this lovely evening, about the space, and sound system.
After some time goes by, there is a strong yearning for this style of music from the crowd. It was not at all what most people were expecting and overall, it was a pleasant surprise. The music was in a realm that was beyond unique, it was Lee. Anyone could understand that this guy has an established dance floor aesthetic for any occasion.
The feeling of surprise musically comes from the fact that the sound of All Day I Dream is known to be a bit, well, dreamy. It’s as if the guys that run the label and party want to make sure when you come to an All Day I Dreamevent; it will be far different than experiencing an artist that is just one part of the imprint. Which I why find Lee to be cohesive with a visionary, ever forward thinking, mastermind of music.