The deep-house maestro Black Coffee (real name Nkosinathi Maphumulo) enters the cavernous space to a legion of rumbling, muscular Afro-beats in the main 'Theatre' area. This Ibiza superclub used to be the celebrated Space venue before this year turning into a slicker, grander operation as Ushuaïa Entertainment's Hï Ibiza, where there's even a DJ playing in the palatial unisex loos.
Black Coffee, Hï Ibiza's first resident DJ, is approaching the end of his hugely successful 18-week residency, armed with his powerful, state-of-the-art music system and his adroit use of samples and African rhythms. The Johannesburg-based DJ, who lost the use of his left arm in a traffic accident in 1990 (it happened while celebrating the release of Nelson Mandela when a car plowed into a group of people, which included a young Maphumulo), specialises in sophisticated, Afropolitan house and has been hailed by the likes of Drake (who used Coffee's "Superman" song on his own hit "Get It Together"), Alicia Keys and Beyonce. He also happens to the most prominent electronic music producer in Africa, so it's coup for Hï Ibiza to have him.
The 41-year-old South African takes to the booth at 2.30am after a polished set from fellow South African Ryan Murgatroyd (of Crazy White Boy fame) and a zesty one from female Canadian duo Blond:ish. After a reasonably understated start, Black Coffee has the new and old (Space age) ravers throwing shapes on the vast, LED-lit dancefloors. Looming over us is a quartet of glitter-smothered dancers, who resemble extras from Eyes Wide Shut in their black masks and high-feathered headgear. This isn't a club for restraint, with its multiple bars, a DJ walk of fame across the road and tube slide in the Magic Garden area.
The throbbing beats aren't always entirely discernible, but there are hints of Grace Jones, Bill Withers and Culoe De Song ("The Fallen Siren") among a wealth of other influences, from Motown to Hugh Masekela. It is, however, undoubtedly a set full of soaring, inventive rhythms and, most crucially, it retains the interest of the crowd, who aren't rushing off to use the tube slide or to listen to the loo DJ.