Along with Craig Richards, Lee Burridge was one half of the incredibly-loved Tyrant crew, and under that name he helped churn out some great mixes along the way. Burridge has done pretty well for himself on his own as well, contributing to the long-running and largely watered-down Global Underground series while DJing around the world and even starting his own label. His contribution to the Balance series (which has been a bit hit-or-miss itself) is an incredibly massive triple CD set that finds him locking into a lean and thumping tech-house groove and basically not letting up for well over three hours.
For a guy who's spun sets that last nearly twelve hours in the past, that probably doesn't seem like such a huge amount, but in this day and age of bam-bam media, shared-music, and a relentless release schedule, it's quite a one-shot serving. Fortunately, Burridge is at pretty close to the top of his game here, with a cracking batch of songs that run the gamut nicely, touching on quieter, more melodic sounds while also dipping into some massively banging sections as well. Largely, the first disc of the set is setting the stage with the woozier, more heady material, as the stark minimalism of Efdemin's "Bergwein" morphs into the sparkling "Good Luck" by Jacek Sienkiewicz while Viewers kick open the trap door slightly with "Blank Images."
The second disc locks into more of a standard tech house feel, and it's this second of the mix that is least interesting, as track after track rush by with the same sort of slippery, hiccuping feel. There are still some interesting moments that pop up in the mix, but as a whole it's this section that feels the most padded of the long release. Fortunately, disc three of the mix starts things off with a bang (Tomas Anderson's "Dubbel Problematik") and keeps things largely interesting from there out, kicking something fierce with the live drum-laced "Trommelstunde" by Gabriel Ananda while getting right trippy with the flanged-out arpeggio madness of "Dirty" by Autotune.
Unless you're a massive fan of Burridge (or Tyrant), Balance 12 will likely feel a bit on the indulgent side. With three CDs running well over three and a half hours worth of music, it's a little hard to argue that point, and although it's a pretty good approximation of a long DJ set (where sheer body motion tends to help gloss over any slightly weaker spots), this one is a bit on the overlong side. As with most DJ mixes, track selection will probably rule the day in terms of whether or not this one is a must have, and while it does have a few lagging spots, there's still plenty to enjoy.