Many people believe the notion of a ‘guilty pleasure’ should not exist. Music that attracts this tagline is often so widely enjoyed that it really should be entirely innocent. Arguably, there is no one in music that embraces this concept more happily than Cyril Hahn.
The Swiss-born, Vancouver-based producer made a name for himself by reworking a couple of these guilt-laden tracks into some of the most proudly listened-to music on the internet. His inspired take on pop classic ‘Say My Name’ helped catapult this style of sampling into the relative mainstream, as chillwave expanded and slowing vocals became an increasingly popular technique.
Signed to PMR Records (Jessie Ware, Disclosure) there can be little doubt that his own creations will follow suit by delivering intelligent and accessible house.
An eagerly anticipated London date at Sidings Warehouse gives Hahn the opportunity to bring these reworkings alive to a baying crowd; a lazer-heavy, smoke filled room offering the ideal setting for him, as swarms of the Capital’s dance-music attentive look on.
The cold setting soon warms up, as the hooded figure produces chunky synths and crisp beats. His plays on Jessie Ware’s ‘Sweet Talk’, Haim’s ‘Don’t Save Me’ and Solange’s brilliant ‘Losing You’ are instantly recognisable and satisfying, highlighting not only Hahn’s taste but his careful production which adds so much without altering these well-loved songs too much.
Arguably, the ‘set’ takes too long to evolve into the faster more drop-frequent tracks in its second half, as the hoards enthusiasm for dance greatened, but when these crowd-pleasers arrive they don’t disappoint. Closing with the aforementioned, much anticipated Destiny’s Child reworking couldn’t have been more welcome as the room swoons and refills with the slowed vocal play thundering along wonderfully.
A deep and satisfying performance then from a powerhouse remixer who, alongside the likes of Ryan Hemsworth and Flume, is opening up the world of house further to the masses. The best thing about Cyril Hahn? We can all enjoy Mariah Carey, guilt-free.