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Sasha and Zabiela @ Renaissance

August in Ibiza means a month of mouth watering dj match ups. But can the big kahunas still cut it?

Tom Sanford's portrait of the late Jam Master JayThe changing of the guard is a sensitive subject in Ibiza. As yet, not one superstar dj has retired. Frankie Knuckles might pop off any day now, and Jam Master Jay (left) from Run DMC got shot to death recently but pretty much all the big guns are still firing.

Even utter peanut butter nutters like Alex P and Brandon Block still get regular high profile gigs, and Paul Oakenfold has been laughing off retirement rumours all the way to his Guinness Books of Records entry as “World's Most Successful” dj.

So where does that put rising sons like James Zabiela, protégé to prog trance vet Sasha? Taking risks and pushing a few brand new buttons, judging from the former's performance at Renassiance's peak season slot last Thursday at Pacha.

Renaissance @ Pacha, Agosto 5The new fangled sound system at the venue regarded as the grand old dame of Ibiza clubbing is more accustomed to pumping out beats in classic four four time, but the set from the shaggy haired young dj slipped regularly into breakbeat territory. If you've never been to Pacha, you've no idea how much of a novelty this is.

Pacha doesn't do skittery rhythms in the main room, like it doesn't do gurning or slumping against the wall. But the off-kilter soundscapes didn't sacrifice danceability in the pursuit of experimentation, and the principal groove zone in front of the dj booth was never less than chocka.

Sasha @ Pacha, Agosto 5For the final ten minutes of his session JZ (below) played an almost melody-less selection, so when the vocal line from Deep Dish's Flashdance rang out and Sasha (right) emerged from the shadows at the back of the booth there was an appropriate roar.

James Zabiela @ Pacha, Agosto 5Sasha's head was bowed and his brow furrowed in concentration, in stark contrast to the smiling 24-year-old, who stuck around to shake hands and bashfully soak up some adulation.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the club, two dancers co-opted a shiny silver bike used for performances in Pacha's hip hop platform, the Global Room.

Global Room, Agosto 5

Renaissance at Pacha, different strokes for altered folks.

Renaissance @ Pacha, Agosto 5