Ahead of the release of ANTS presents The Mix 2014, Defected caught up with UNER, Andrea Oliva and Los Suruba to discuss how they got involved with the infamous Ushuaia party.
How did you first get involved with ANTS?
UNER: After a meeting with the club’s owners, we found the whole philosophy of the party amazing. Especially the fact that we would be teaming up with other artists, public relations people, dancers, ants, etc … Everyone would be equal, no superstars and egos.
Andrea Oliva: We have always exchanged ideas and thoughts with the Ushuaia team so we already had an idea in the summer two years ago. I finally realised that it could become something serious and interesting when I saw the final concept at WMC 2012! It was love straight away!
Los Suruba: In March 2013, Ushuaia contacted us to explain the concept and that they wanted us to be a part of the colony! We couldn’t believe that we were going to be residents of one of the biggest parties on the island.
ANTS had an amazingly successful first year, why do you think that was?
UNER: I think one of the reasons was the passion we all felt for the music. Everyone identified with it – the waiters, the security team, DJs, promoters and the public itself felt very much a part of the party. Everyone is coming to enjoy the music and not to please any eccentricity or to worship anyone.
Andrea Oliva: It’s a friendly party full of good vibes mixed with the right music. It is open to everybody and its in a beautiful location blessed by a lot of sun. That’s it. Everybody is working hard for it and puts a lot of passion into it, and that’s the key!
Los Suruba: We think that their success comes from it being the only party with an original and different concept. It’s really a mix of lots of good things. The idea that all the DJs are the same, the sound system, the performances, visuals and costumes are amazing. It also has a strong and intelligent promo campaign.
Would you say ANTS party goers are different to the traditional crowds at other parties on the island?
UNER: I do not think is a difference in relation to other parties, but there may be a difference of mentality when coming to this party. They feel an active part of it. We work for them and the colony is the engine of the brand.
Andrea Oliva: The island is full of great parties! We just added something positive on top of the whole thing – that’s why we are so accepted. We do it in the right way; we share the same philosophy of the party. It would make no sense to just do a random party for the sake of it. If you come to our parties there is something happening wherever you put your eyes and ears!
Los Suruba: We think that the party goers at ANTS are a mix of different kinds of people, styles and backgrounds united by the same things: a desire to have fun in a daytime party with good underground music.
Do you play differently at an ANTS party that you might do elsewhere on the island, or in the world for that matter?
UNER: Not at all. One of the first things we talked about is that we had complete freedom as far as music is concerned and all play what we want. We do not change our style, although it’s true that a session at 6pm is not the same as closing the main stage at 10pm. It’s the same as comparing a session in Panorama Bar to a festival such as the Extreme Festival. It’s just different scenarios.
Andrea Oliva: Sometimes yes! It’s different to play in front of 7000 party animals who are on holiday in ibiza then Panorama Bar or Nordstern for example.
Los Suruba: We have our own style, but inside our style, we have a “vibe spectrum”. It ranges from the fresh and funky tunes that we play during the daytime to the dark and sexy tracks we play at the last hours of ANTS, a nightclub or afterhours.
Who are you most looking forward to playing alongside this season?
UNER: During the summer, again with Carl Cox. In ANTS I could not say because it would reveal line-ups that have been announced yet. Anyway, it’s amazing to enjoy each and every one of the folks who get together throughout the season.
Andrea Oliva: So many friends playing here this season. Looking forward to it all! I look forward to playing with Hot Since 82 because he’s a really good artist, a great person and a good friend
Los Suruba: Ralph Lawson because we are fans of his label since it was born, and Simon Baker and The Mekanism because he’s one of our Suruba fellas.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
UNER: Working with my manager Alex Montoya, my first album and union with ANTS are three points that have been very important to me in the last two years.
Andrea Oliva: Most of the time when I sit in the studio or play a gig, I have this moment where I feel something is happening inside me – like moments of joy for different reasons. This is my highlight always!
Los Suruba: Being Ushuaia and ANTS residents is one of the most important things of our career. Last summer we played at Dreambeach, one of the biggest festivals in Spain, closing the Main stage in front of more than 20.000 people! It was amazing. As producers, it has to be releasing on labels like Get Physical or Culprit and reaching the Beatport Deep House and Tech House top 3 spots three times.
How did you choose the tracks on your mix on the forthcoming ANTS presents The Mix 2014?
UNER: As always, it is an emotional issue. I wanted to give a ‘fresh house feeling’, without forgetting the intense harmonies that I love. I did not want to focus only on new music and the latest, so I decide to take a tour of tracks that have filled me with joy during all the years I’ve been working.
Andrea Oliva: Freestyle! Just picked some tunes I like to play at the moment. I focused on tracks from friends and some of my recent releases.
Los Suruba: We made a mix of some tracks that we were playing at the moment that Defected asked us to compile for this CD – some good tracks from our label and some tracks that we that like.
Is this mix a good representation of what people can expect from your sets?
UNER: I don’t ever know what can happen in my sets. I love surprising and mixing a lot of styles. At the end it’s all music!
Andrea Oliva: It’s always different in a way! Doing a mix cd is different than playing in front of a crowd. It’s pretty different, because it’s a one hour mix, and we like to play for 3-4 hours.
Los Suruba: In our sets, we like to tell a story. This time we’ve found the way to tell it in one hour, and you can more or less find our taste and style when we are playing. Also it’s a mix done thinking that it will be played at home, on the computer or in a car, you know?
ANTS presents The Mix 2014 is out 29 June (3CD and digital) on ITH