Cannes doesn't only kick it film wise. Oh no, the south-eastern bastion of wealth also knows a thing or two about technology. So whilst the locals tucked into breakfasts handsomely flavoured with gold-encrusted Heinz ketchup, some of the worlds most forward thinking, music tech professionals descended on the annual Midem festival. Delegates from recording, artist management and publishing networked their derrieres off at the weekend’s forums, whilst new artists showcased material and a discussion-leading Mark Hoppus honoured the 2013 ability to consume media in his underwear as the industry’s higher echelons gawked on.
The likes of Ford were championing a Nightrider-esque software - known as SYNC - into their new range of car models, capable of voice recognition to ensure you stay in touch with the outside world every second you’re driving. All the phone call making, text message reading, music choosing shenanigans that you could wish for are no longer a farfetched reverie and instead a plausible deed via your own flapping vocal cords. Elsewhere, social video platform, Vyclone, tried to disentangle that first world problem that gig lovers will be all too familiar with. That digital era nightmare where you’re trying to capture your favourite moments of a concert whilst avoiding shoddy shots and waving hands in front of you. The aim here was to turn any event where multiple people shot footage into a well-edited film. By uploading your vid to Vyclone, the app ingeniously searched out other videos shot at the same time and location and rejigged the visuals into a streamlined, custom-made clip. From trying it the audio isn’t cut off, the cuts in the video from shot to shot made sense and you might just get away with slipping part-time videographer into your CV. Not really. The major downside, however, is its one minute long limitation, which annoyingly confines your recordings to a first verse and chorus if you’re lucky.
Live music was on show in the evenings, nestled humbly inside a circus mimicking structure complete with red tapestry and wooden floors. The first night hosted Torquay’s Yes Sir Boss and their brand of toe-tapping, rocky ska which although strikingly splendid live wouldn’t translate to your iPod sessions with the same vim. Next, Israeli Asaf Avidan who recently jumped ship from Sony to Universal’s Polydor trilled his way through an alluring session of falsetto-spilling blues whilst his band of sultry females oohd and aahd smoky backing harmonies. Saturday’s big name was Madness who started with ‘One Step Beyond’. Suggs and co masqueraded through hits of yesteryear to the elders whilst the teens hailed Carly Rae Jepsen next door at the NRJ awards. Sunday’s greatest pull came from French multiple-time DMC champs, C2C, who took the crowd through a four-deck synchronized marathon of breakbeat and electro swing rhythms backed by an extravagant lighting spectacle. Arguably, the whole event’s chief highlight. Languid Monday provided Paris-by-way-of Brighton-based collective, Archive, whose latest album 'With Us Until You’re Dead' got a run through alongside one of Belgium’s most promising recent exports in indie rockers, Balthazar.
It remains to be seen what next year’s edition will bring to the music tech table(t), but as far as this year goes we were left salivating at the thought of the industry shifting once more. All in all, a worthy insight.
Words by Errol Anderson
Photo credit: D'Halloy