From her residency at Phonox London and her Rinse FM radio podcast to her BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix of the year 2018, Australian DJ, producer and label owner HAAi has been getting more and more recognition for her work in the past few years. And also I have had an eye on her and had been waiting for an opportunity to see her live on the decks. Her debut at one of my favourite Melbourne venues Revolver Upstairs in her home country Australia therefor seemed like a very promising event. Headlining next to her was Danish artist S.A.M.
Sunday parties at Melbourne’s venue Revolver Upstairs are usually my favourite nights there. And with the big line-ups they have been bringing to these events lately, they have become more and more popular. So it was no surprise that the whole place was absolutely packed to the last corner before 1am already. People had to squish through the crowds to make it from one floor to the other with no space to dance. Luckily, it emptied a little bit within the next hours.
HAAi was playing a five hour set at the cage floor from midnight to 5am. By 1am she was already going really hard, playing banging, fast-paced techno with a very progressive energy. That left me wondering where she would go from there and I personally found it quite hard to get into the set. For the most part of her set the energy seemed to be weirdly flat and dragging, although she was going so hard with that track selection. As per usual for Revs Sunday nights, the crowd was absolutely keen to go off with her, but it felt a bit forced and like impatience filled the room. And also I was waiting for the set to finally pick up and for her to progress to more groovy tracks. And generally, I wasn’t really a fan of the sound of her set and didn’t like many of the tracks that she was playing.
On the other floor, S.A.M. was playing more groovy and smooth deep house for three hours. There’s nothing to really criticise about his set, since it was overall super fluent and nicely mixed. Still, it couldn’t really keep me entertained. HAAi’s set got a little more trancey and energetic towards the end actually. And also the crowd seemed to be enjoying it a lot more compared to the beginning. Sadly, I couldn’t really find my way into her set all night and had expected to like her sound more. The rave energy that I love so much about Sundays at Revs was unfortunately missing as well, but I hope I will get to experience it again sometime in the future.