The Analog Magic of the Nuits Carrées


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

Credits: zenline

Take a magical and historical place by the sea as the amphitheater of Fort Carré of Antibes, then add:

*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 Coffe and Sugar, Ebenezer-Tris Kayo,
*Organizers’ team (Label Note) and volunteers, all motivated to make this festival an unforgettable, major event
*Very affordable price (10€ (one evening) or 15€ (for 2 evenings))
*An ecological principle allowing to reduce at most, the waste that can be produced by an event of such a scale
*A public absolutely conquered by the quality of these first ingredients

Mix, let it cook in the summer temperature and you will obtain THE FESTIVAL which you should absolutely not miss!

Credits: zenline

Now that the presentations are made, I would like to tell you what I felt as a person who’s very passionate about concerts and analogue photography, during this 5th edition of the Nuits Carrées, which took place on July 1st and 2nd, 2011.

I had with me my Lomo LC-A, my recently acquired Nikon FE2, and an exceptional accreditation to take photos! 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. I’m resolved to a 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 fast development in the lab, thus the need for films processed in C41 chemicals as Kodak BWCN and Ilford XP2 .

Credits: zenline

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

Credits: zenline

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 merged 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, I wanted to dedicate a whole film to them with the hope to capture this energy and this overflowing creativity on film. It was not the first time that I was lucky to see them on stage and photograph them, and it will certainly not be the last one because they will perform again on July 21st in Nice for Crazy Week (another festival which promises fabulous moments).

Credits: zenline

The sun seemed to not 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 9:30pm. Fink… it’s with trembling hands that I finally made my first photos of this prodigious artist.

Its sound universe, mixture of electronic sensualism and fascinating folk songs, enchants the soul, and the fervor of the cheers of the public was proof.

Credits: zenline

It’s with a certain shyness that Jonathan Morali and his group Syd Matters rose on stage, and it was moving to see an artist for the first time whom I’ve been listening to for 5 years, whom I took some of these clichés. It’s music dazzled through its peculiarity and its melancholic flavor affected my heart directly, without too much, Syd Matters plunges us into his envoutant world.

Credits: zenline

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, annoyed to return there for the second evening.

Credits: zenline

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

The team of organizers and volunteers welcomed the public again 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 were just there to take advantage of it.

And it’s with the incredible set of Ebenezer and Tris Kayo ( DJs of Play Scratch RecordFrequence K radio ) that the Nuits Carrées started the day’s festivities. (You can listen to it here .)

Credits: zenline

Meanwhile, the first group of the evening took their place on stage :
Milk Coffee and Sugar (aka MC’s), a delicious mix of rap with jazz accents was used to us by its two MCs and their talented musicians. There’s a communicative energy in them, words which will touch you. It’s difficult not to succumb to this subtle drink (and difficult not to follow the rhythm, to remain immovable to photograph was practically impossible!)

Credits: zenline

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

Credits: zenline

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

Credits: zenline

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 the Nuits Carrées. This Japanese musician who is one of the Grand Masters of this musical style, was the highlight of these two unforgettable evenings.

Credits: zenline

About 5000 people 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. But let us leave all the same the time to the organizers to rest after this incredible "Nuits Carrées": 2011 of Antibes. This festival was the first one that I was accredited, I can never thank the team of Label Note enough which gave me this exceptional chance: the chance to prove that analogue photography also has a place in musical events.

Enjoy Lomo! Enjoy Music!

The Lomo LC-A+ is known worldwide for its amazing features: automatic exposure, extended ISO range, and multiple and long exposure capabilities. Get your own Lomo LC-A+ now!

written by zenline on 2011-08-01 in #world #locations #music #mc-s #syd-matters #the-herbaliser #music-festival #select-type-of-location #analog #event #lomography #fink #antibes #majiker #concert #band #accreditation-photo #andreya-triana #hannah #festival #gig #dj-krush #nuits-carrees #art-and-culture #french-riviera


  1. tomas_bates
    tomas_bates ·

    Awesome article and photos Celine! I saw Andreya Triana at Soundwave festival in Croatia a couple of weeks ago :-)

  2. zenline
    zenline ·

    Heeey Tom, thanks a lot ! I hope to see very soon your photos of Soundwave festival !
    Happy to read you :)

  3. b0rn2b1ush
    b0rn2b1ush ·

    great read... and wonderful photos, celine! thanks for leading me here. cheers from manila!

  4. valennano
    valennano ·

    very interesting article, thanks for tell me and fantastic photos!!

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