DJs live on their computers, so what better way to find out about them than by exploring the apps and websites they use every day. THUMP caught up with Cyril Hahn at the Pantages Hotel before the Toronto stop of his Fall 2015 tour. Opening his laptop, the adopted Vancouverite gave us a glimpse inside his digital world.
As we sat shoulder-to-shoulder, sifting through his browser history and going through files, I asked him questions about the little bits of idiosyncratic, weird, and often trivial information that surfaced, seeing just how much computers have become an extension of our selves.
THUMP: How much time per day do you spend on a computer?
Cyril Hahn: I work on it anywhere from like 8 hours a day and up—which is kind of bad for my eyes.
What's an app you use that people might not know about?
I have a lot of meditations apps. My girlfriend got me into them a year or two ago and I started to enjoy them. I think they really help me—especially when I'm travelling on a plane. I'm just sitting there, so I might as well do something productive for my body. I like to use them before I start producing; it prevents me from overthinking.
What is StayFocusd?
It's this plug-in I use that blocks my Facebook and Twitter after ten minutes, so I don't use the apps too much. I just try to stay focused when I'm in the studio. I either use this, or I turn off the Internet. Sometimes I look at something and then I get distracted, but this doesn't let me do that—which is nice.
What's the coolest thing you discovered on the internet recently?
I'm reading this book about early rave culture in the UK, so there's a lot of early UK rave, techno, house, electronica stuff. The book mentions so many songs, it's kind of like research, which I enjoy. Orbital was one of those bands that had success early on. They were probably considered techno back then—I don't know what you would call them now. They have this hilarious performance that was mentioned in the book so [I found it on YouTube]. They had to perform on Top of the Pops and they were literally just pressing a button. They were fucking with the show.
What sort of privacy restrictions do you have on your personal social media accounts?
I changed my name so people can't find me. Sometimes I get strange requests, but I don't add them. My profile pictures are usually just animals. I have 476 friends—I don't think that's a lot of people. I don't see the point of connecting with acquaintances that I'm never going to talk to again.
I hide pretty much everybody except my really close friends on my social media newsfeed. A lot of people are like "I hate Facebook. There's all this stuff that I don't want to see," but for me, I just see what my twenty closest friends are posting. If I had to keep up with another 50 people's lives on social media, I would have no time to do anything. I don't know how other people do it.
What were you shopping for on Ebay?
Looking for drum machines. I really like old analog gear.
What would surprise people about your iTunes collection?
I used to listen to a lot of indie rock and still do—Deerhunter, Craft Spells, Beach Fossils, and Diiv.
What's something that impresses you about the internet?
I love when Google completes sentences for you. Sometimes it's like really racist and you're like "what the fuck? How are so many people Googling this?"
What's a vintage computer technology that you wish was still around?
This program called Soulseek that I used in high school. It was a Peer2Peer file sharing software created by a former Napster employee. You could download the song you wanted if the other user was online, so sometimes you'd wait for days but you could find the most obscure albums/songs on this software that you couldn't find anywhere else at the time.
Rebecca is on Twitter.