Cyril Hahn - don't let the hype or mean soundcloud track record fool you.
Words by Anthony Nocera
I’ve always subscribed to the belief that you can summarise an artist by how their fans behave at a gig. In the case of Cyril Han’s gig at Rocket, his fans were all kind of mindlessly shuffling to his music until the club photographer came around and offered to take a photo of them, then they all started slam-dancing and getting super into it while they all took turns vaping. I’m not going to lie; it was an amazing phenomenon to watch.
Pity there was a gig on.
For those that don’t know (and to be completely honest, how do you not?) Cyril Hahn is a Swiss born, Canadian DJ and electronic dynamo who has claim to probably one of the best Soundcloud accounts in history. He released one of the coolest electronic EP’s of 2014 with Voices, featuring sexy Flight Facilities crossed with Destiny Child-esque gem ‘Slow’ (ft. Rochelle Jordan) and the Ellie Goulding by way of Caribou banger ‘Open’ (ft. vocals from Ryan Ashley). Add to that probably some of the coolest remixes of the last few years, check his remixes of Haim’s ‘Don’t Save Me’ and Solange’s ‘Losing You’, and you have an artist that is well and truly hype-worthy. His sound is accessible, fun and has a remarkable lightness to it while not compromising on solid and danceable beats.
The problem with his showing at Rocket was that all of this was absent. There was no Voices, none of his mind-blowing remixes, and none of that trademark earworm-lightness that makes me go over my data every month because I insist on streaming his stuff off of Soundcloud on the bus. What we got was a deep-house DJ set which, while it was passable, failed to live up to the hype, the $20 cover charge or Cyril’s positively ludicrous potential.
The deep house beats and too-cool vibe of the music was also matched by Cyril’s onstage presence. It was cold, and while it was hilarious to watch him blatantly ignore a punter who had the audacity to get up onstage and hold out her iPhone 5C and request a song for a very real and legitimate fifteen minutes of his set, it made for a cold vibe. There was no crowd interaction, nothing to get excited about. What makes an electronic act, especially a DJ great, is the ability to have the presence and charisma of a band while you’re on the decks. The crowd should be hanging off of your every beat and drop, not making sure that they look like they are for the cameras.
It was disappointing, especially considering how much data I and many others have used up on him. He’s still great, but maybe I’ll just listen to him on Soundcloud at home… because I can hotspot my Wi-Fi there.
 Never in my life would I have thought I’d be using the phrase ‘on the decks’ and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I think I feel ‘not great’ to be honest.