Taking over Forms on Friday 2nd November as part of their ongoing world tour, the Ibiza brand known as ANTS made their long awaited London debut at the world famous fabric nightclub in Farringdon. The UNITED ANTS brand has been taking the island of Ibiza by storm in 2018 with sell out shows aplenty, and doesn’t look to be slowing down for 2019.
Ushering in a plethora of talent across house & tech house, with the likes of ViVa Warriors boss Steve Lawler, Emanuel Satie, Housekeeping and Manu Gonzalez in room 1. Room 2 featured the likes of UK chart topping DJ Secondcity, ABODE residents GW Harrison & Will Taylor and making their Ants debut; the duo of Eliza Noble and Jennifur Skillman otherwise known as Eli & Fur.
The purpose built jewel of Farringdon’s underground nightlife boasts three rooms, each slightly smaller than the other with Room One taking the main stage. Famously known for it’s grounded DJ booth, which leaves ravers within touching distance of the world’s biggest artists.
Top marks here, one of the best examples of service we’ve seen at a venue. Incredibly helpful, polite and speedy service. Floor staff were also constantly present and picking up bottles/cups from the floor ensuring the space was clear.
A fairly reasonably priced bar considering the Central London location, with mixers setting you back £5.50 for a single, beer starting at £5 and £3 water. Definitely not the most expensive we’ve seen in the city!
Very well ventilated across the two rooms in action on the night. Large fans in each area kept the heat at a comfortable raving temperature, saving you having to cool down outside and miss the action!
A mixed and positive crowd filled the venue, which is no change for a club which attracts a vast range of cultures – something we love to see and shows how powerful music can be to bring people together. With ANTS being a brand which has gone down a storm with the younger Ibiza crowd, a large proportion of those present were fresh faced and full of energy for the night ahead.
Production & Sound
A strong selection of lighting tools on offer here, providing a solid visual experience. Room One was packed out with strobes that cleared the entire room when in sync together, along with a dual laser setup on either side of the room. Other effective lighting touches included two giant disco balls glistening vibrant colours across the room and moving head placements shining beams into the crowd. Room Two also had its fair share of lighting options, focusing more on spotlights and giving a darker and more intense feel to the room. Adding the icing to the cake of each room was a silhouetting ANTS logo, overlooking the crowd – great touch.
Fabric prides itself on holding a world class sound system and having heard it, we can’t argue there. Sound quality was emphatic and rumbled through the walls of the underground venue. Points in Room Two did occasionally feel slightly overpowered by the system’s bass, so a tweak to this would be great to see in future.
GW Harrison b2b Will Taylor
Shortly after arriving found us in the hands of ABODE residents GW Harrison and Will Taylor. With the room filling from an early point of their set, the pair had already whipped up a popping atmosphere. Jumping straight into their performance we witnessed the new release of Runnin’ by Aaran D. The track which is now out on Solid Grooves Raw has been causing ripples in the tech house scene and proved just why with a huge reaction from the London crowd.
Upping the tempo as we dived deeper into their set, saw the 2018 release from Riaz Dhanani & Harry Ley “Sour Apple Groove” erupt through the close walled space, with the room now fully packed out. One of our highlights later came from an unsigned track by Will Taylor himself. Featuring sample lyrics from the hugely famous “Turn Me Out” by Praxis feat Kathy Brown, the iconic vocal went down a treat before exploding into a tech house frenzy.
The London based group that was founded in 2012, features four artists known as Taylor McWilliams, Carl Waxberg, Sebastian MDH and Jacobi AGG. Two of the group stepped up to the world famous Room One booth and took control of the next two hours. Known for their extensive passion of house music and crafting expertly skilled sets, we knew this was going to be a ride. Right from the off, their sound was a distinct – oozing with culturally diverse rhythms. A perfect demonstration came in the shape of “Mitena” by Rey & Kjavik. The spiritual track holds a real middle eastern sound, providing a refreshing audio to the night and matched perfectly with the room’s production as the lighting fired dazzling colour into the crowd.
The mature theme continued as the set’s tempo enlarged, with the crowd now fully hooked to the funky sound. The tribal elements of “Rural Development” by Sobek released on MoBlack Records being a real highlight, with the track brought almost to silence before Housekeeping bring us right back to the boil with it’s brilliant afro house drop.
Covering the 2am – 4am slot back in room 2 had Rowan Harrington a.k.a Secondcity in charge of the booth. With the dance floor still jam-packed, the former UK number 1 charting DJ delivered a set laced with hints of 2012-2014 house to keep the crowd going into the early hours. The 2014 Hot Creations belter from Patrick Topping titled “Schwicked” being a prime example, with it’s funky electronic sounds adding a fresh spin on the room.
Switching up the pace further into the set saw a shift back into some harder tech house, with the occasional deeper track making an appearance to break up the performance. Throwing in one of his own productions “‘A’ndia” added a brilliant exotic/tribal tone which has been a regular feature in some of his recent work.
A successful debut for ANTS at Farringdon’s beloved Fabric, bringing a brilliant variety of sounds together and crafting a real diverse feeling to the night. The intelligent lighting setup across the rooms only added to the refreshing soundtrack on offer, and whilst a slight tweak to Room Two’s bass levels would’ve left a faultless night, it takes nothing away from the performances throughout. 8.5/10