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Review: Ants at Ushuaïa, 14th June

Join the colony for one of the best pool parties in Ibiza…

From the moment I stepped off the plane and arrived in Ibiza for my first full season, I was looking forward to paying a visit to the Ushuaïa Beach Hotel. Having previously visited the white isle for a holiday but never getting the chance to visit one of the island's most prestigious hotels and party venues, I was keen to see how parties at Ushuaïa differ from other clubs and pool parties that are dotted around Playa d'en Bossa and San Antonio. For those that have never visited Ibiza to go clubbing before, it is an unwritten rule that you will see posters and line-ups listed almost everywhere for big events all over the island and Ushuaïa's ANTS party is no exception to that rule. Over the past couple of weeks, the plans I have made for my weekends have been contested virtually every time I've walked past an ANTS line-up poster, and finally, my chance to check out one of the weekend's most talked about parties had arrived.

Upon heading into the pool area, one of the first things that I noticed was the unique layout of the party. I had initially expected the main events to be taking place on the stage at the front of the venue, but was pleasantly surprised to find Maya Jane Coles playing to a pretty big crowd from a large ‘hut' near the bar at the back. The idea of putting the DJ booth in the middle of the surrounding dancefloor seriously paid off for the party as it did away with the barrier between the artist and their fans that a stage can so often impose. As a result, the crowd were getting into the party right from the off. Quite often in daytime parties, the first few hours can be a little lacklustre while all the fans get their drink on and adjust to the party spirit, but Maya Jane Coles saw to it that the party start right away and did so with a mix of quite slow, groovy tech pieces that transitioned by the end of her set into the more dark sound that we've come to associate with British electronic music.

When Spanish duo Los Suruba stepped up for their two hour set, more and more people were arriving through the doors and building up what was already a large crowd. Right from the start, Los Suruba (which literally means ‘orgy' in English) unleashed into a set that fused elements of techno with deep and tech house, at points even incorporating Latin sounds and influences. Opening with Patrick Topping's Hot Creations hit Get Beasty was a great way to get the dancefloor on side, which then gave way to more techno oriented beats. Their heavy use of echo in building up certain tracks combined with their persistent switching from the more moody sounds of techno and house reminded me of a set you'd expect to see at Circo Loco - certainly not a bad thing. Even the guests of the hotel were beginning to fill up the balconies to see who was playing which was definitely a sign of an enticing set. By the time Suruba played Maceo Plex's Conjure Drama (from one of the biggest releases this year), the crowd was in its element.

Nobody can deny the quality of parties that ANTS and Ushuaïa are putting on this season. I find that one of the primary indicators of a good party in Ibiza is the number of season workers in attendance, and they were out in their masses for yesterday's party. Not only that, but in one day at Ushuaia you'll be amazed at the visual spectacles you'll see as well as the quality of music. There's fire breathers and dancers, fireworks, a laser show capable of giving any superclub on the island a run for its money and a sound system that sounds pitch-perfect no matter what part of the venue you're standing in. Join the colony!

WORDS | Janson Goldberg PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman

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