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The many faces of Black Coffee

Three key performances from episode two at Hï Ibiza.

Putting Ibiza's big star DJs under the microscope, few of those who command residencies have a backstory as enthralling as Black Coffee. A complex and multi-faceted personality, Black Coffee's career story has caught the imagination of clubbers and music fans.

At the International Music Summit in 2018, we learned about the team behind Black Coffee and the architects who appointed him at Hï Ibiza on Saturdays. A year on, we're keen to know more. This time, instead of behind the scene's personnel, we were more interested in the front of the house.

Marco Carola has Joey Daniel and LEON at Music On. Sven Väth has Ilario Alicante and Dana Ruh at Cocoon. Jamie Jones has Patrick Topping and Richy Ahmed at Paradise. Point being, as good as those guys are, they can't do it all by themselves.

Black Coffee is the star draw at his namesake residency - the fact the party bears his name is proof enough that it is worth its weight in gold.

Convinced his night was about much more than him alone, we made the trip to Playa d'En Bossa to check out week two. Picking out three key performances from the night, we were buoyed by what we found.


Rampa

Over two seasons Rampa and the rest of the keinemusik camp have contributed to the lion's share of Black Coffee's soundtrack.

With their regular deployment of soaring melodies and ethnic vocals, the production unit's output reflects the aesthetic of the party.

It came as no surprise that Rampa would dovetail nicely into the party as a guest and the perfect foil to set-up our host later.

In homage to Black Coffee's motherland, he dropped this curveball from the vaults of Afro-funk with Bill Loko's Nen Lambo

He would end his set on his new Innervisions collaboration with WhoMadeWho, applying an exclamation point to a memorable performance.


Matthias Meyer

Before he had jumped on Matthias Meyer had seemed cool, calm, collected and humble. Yet as soon as he began playing his music, his passion shone out of him. He was as energetic in the club room booth as anybody below him on the dance floor, clearly embracing the challenge.

Deep and hypnotic - dropping Guy Gerber's What To Do early on - our selector had the entire room mesmerized.

Finding his stride in little time at all, the Club room represented the ideal contrast to the Theatre. Full of highs and lows, it was different from the more subtle progression of the main room.

Matthias was staggeringly underutilised during his time as a resident for Labyrinth from 2017 to 2018. So much so, it now feels like a missed opportunity. With more Ibiza shows in the pipeline for later in the summer, be sure to check the underrated German out.

The Club room shut prematurely at 05:00 and everybody left herded into the Theatre for Black Coffee. We certainly felt like Matthias had enough gusto to continue for another hour or more, but in a way, it left us no choice but to glow in our host's sermon.


Black Coffee

Obviously, we had to include the host. To do anything but would be a disservice. Everything that had come before it built towards the moment Black Coffee took to the decks.

Basked in spotlight, it felt almost like divine intervention that elevated him there.

An army of African warrior princesses, wearing elaborate headpieces and channelling Black Panther's fictitious Wakanda tribal-wear, danced in perfect choreography. The level of detail in the production is always something to be admired.

We were not alone in pushing to the front to see the high priest on his throne. It seemed as though everybody else inside Hï orbited around him to catch a glimpse of his unorthodox and inspiring DJ technique.

Unfinished, the night still had Black Coffee going back-to-back with Rampa to send us home.


Last summer, we weren't entirely sold on how the second room was programmed on Hï's Saturday nights. It felt like a bit of a disconnection. However, 2019's club room bookings seem much more like an extension of Black Coffee's personality.

Matthias Meyer delivered our favourite set of the night. To remain ahead of the game on arguably the most competitive night of the week, both rooms firing on all cylinders is the only strategy.

Black Coffee continues his rule as an ambassador for a continent and as the star of his own party, but he doesn't do it alone.

Like all good generals, he surrounds himself with dependable soldiers - very talented friends that add further heat to proceedings. Recurring faces during the stretch include De Capo, Themba and Salomé - each of the cast vital to the party's success.

The reign looks set to continue for the foreseeable.

Next week, Rampa's bandmate &Me is the big guest - the first of two scheduled appearances this summer.

Add the ingredients of Culoe De Song, Guy Mantzur and Serge Devant into the mix and you have arguably one of the best line-ups of this year's residency - and also one that strikes a chord musically.

Tickets for all remaining dates can be purchased below - with some very attractive options amongst them.

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