The Analog Magic of the Nuits Carrées 2011

(Article écrit pour le site Lomography)

The perfect recipe of music Festival, Label Note found it, 5 years ago by creating the « Nuits Carrées » (« Square Nights » in English) in Antibes - French Riviera.

Take a magic and historic place by the sea as the amphitheater of Fort Carré of Antibes and add to it :
  •     a programming of very high quality with artists and exceptional groups such as Fink, Syd Matters, Hannah, the Herbaliser, DJ Krush, Andreya Triana, Majiker, Milk Coffee and Sugar, Ebenezer-Tris Kayo,
  •     organizers' team (Label Note) and volunteers, all more motivated some than the others to make of this festival an unforgettable and major event,
  •     very affordable price (10 € the evening or 15 € the pass for 2 evenings)
  •     an ecological principle allowing to reduce at most the waste that could produce an event of such a scale,
  •     a public absolutely conquered by the quality of these first ingredients,
Mix, let cook in summer temperature and you will obtain THE Festival which you should not absolutely miss !

Now that the presentations are made, I would like to tell you what I felt as a passionate person by concerts and analog photography, during this 5th edition of the « Nuits Carrées » which takes place on July 1st and 2nd, 2011.
I had with me my Lomo LC-A and my Nikon FE2 recently acquired, and an exceptional accreditation photo ! (exceptional, because normally only the press photographers are accredited !)
The choice of films was difficult especially for the color and knowing that the festival began in daylight to finish at night. Any time I'm resolved to set of Lomography CN 400 iso, Lomography X-Pro 100 iso and Fuji Superia X-Tra 400 iso.
For the Black and White, my choice was limited by the necessity of a fast development to the lab, and thus to take films processed in C41 chemicals as Kodak BWCN and Ilford XP2.

The first musical notes heard in the amphitheater seemed to come from a world to part, from a world where the electronics and the human body are marvelously bound, his author : Majiker - the « Carte Blanche » of this edition.
Majiker is an English producer-songwritter who produced and performed with some international artists. His electro-pop melodies on the background of physical percussions and beatbox announced the tone of this first evening - an evening from which every music passionate person would not stand out unhurt emotionally.

Then it was the tour of the « azuréen » group, Hannah, to make us live a real moment of delight.
Emmanuel's vocal harmonies and his guitar merge marvelously with Laurent's passionate and matchless rhythms to the drum.
Them "nervous folk" sets in guts (tripes), and juggling between my Lomo LC-A and my Nikon FE2, it's the whole film which I wanted to dedicate them with the hope to engrave on the film this energy and this overflowing creativity.

The sun seemed not to want to lie down on the Fort Carré of Antibes, as if he didn't want to miss Fink who took place on stage at 9:30 pm.
Fink... it's with the trembling hands that I made finally my first photos of this prodigious artist. Fortunately, my breath cut in each of its titles allowed me from time to time to could suit correctly.
Its sound universe, mixture of electronic sensualism and fascinating folk song, enchants the soul, and the fervour of the cheers of the public was the proof.

It's with a certain shyness that Jonathan Morali and his group Syd Matters rose on stage, and it's moved, to see for the first time an artist whom I listen to for 5 years, whom I took these some clichés.
Its music dazzled by part its peculiarity and its melancholic flavor affects directly the heart, without making it too much, Syd Matters plunges us into his envoutant world.

Jake Wherry and DJ Ollie Teeba, leader of the British collective The Herbaliser , closed this first evening of the « Nuits Carrées » with a particularly effective performance.
Their hip-hop tinged with jazz and funk resounded in all the Fort and it's with the deep emotion that I left this place, annoy to return there for the second evening.

A few hours later, reloaded films, it's with haste, and Lomo LC-A and Nikon FE2 to the neck, that I returned to this festival which had already offered me a first unforgettable evening.
The second was going to be for the height ? Doubtless, yes.

The team of the organizers and the volunteers welcomed again the public with so much efficiency as the day before in spite of the lack of sleep and all the work which we cannot imagine when we are just there to take advantage of it.

And it's with as a background sound the incredible set of Ebenezer and Tris Kayo (DJs of Play Scratch Record - Frequence K radio ) that the « Nuits Carrées » took back the festivities.
(You can listen to it here.)

Meanwhile, the first group of the evening took place on stage :
Milk Coffee and Sugar (aka MC's), a delicious mixs of Rap in accents Jazz was been of use to us by its two MC and their talented musicians.
There's in them a communicative energy, words which touch and don't leave indifferent. Difficult not to succumb to this subtle drink (and difficult not to follow the rhythm, to remain immovable to photograph was practically impossible!)

It's then Andreya Triana ( news muse of the English label Ninja Tune - undoubtedly in the honor during these fantastic festival - and which the first album is produced by Bonobo ), who fired the public with her Soul enchantress. The shutter started with shyness, so much its atmosphere is of a sweetness envoutante. Then on tones trip-hop more rhythmical, he couldn't stop any more until the film arrives at its 36th pose !

Change of film and artist's change on stage; Majiker returns for his « Carte blanche » to the festival, but this time this accompanied with 4 singers-dancers-physical instruments, perfect musical assembly.

And the unpublished, long-awaited event by a public who seemed to me more and more impatient, settled down with serenity on the side of the stage. It's a symbolic figure of the international scene abstract hip-hop, DJ Krush, who closed these « Nuits Carrées ».
This Japanese musician, one of the Grand Masters of this musical style, was the highlight of these two unforgettable evenings.

About 5000 persons attended this festival which knew how to keep its promises by offering a programming of the most audacious; and I don't think of making a mistake by saying that all look forward to the next edition. 
This festival was the first one where I was accredited, I can thank never enough the team of Label Note which give me this exceptional chance : the chance to prove that the analog photography has more than ever its place in the musical events.

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