As a border person I’m always intrigued by everything about borders, including the music created by this borderless group. “TootArd (Arabic for strawberries) is a “mountain rock reggae” band from the majestic mountainside (Mount Hermon) village of Majdal Shams in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Their “Laissez Passer” documents say their identities are “undefined” but they are sure that music will lead them. Singing in Arabic and gliding across the borders of West African Saharan (Tuareg and Sahrawi), Caribbean grooves and classical Arabic modalities, they will make every audience laugh, dance, smile, ask questions, and imagine the many possibilities for a better future…”. Click here for source.
TootArd soon found even more welcoming audiences in the Palestinian music scene and began to travel even further away. In an interview titled Playing on the Borders they say they then discovered they could get invitations from music festivals in Europe using the only document they have as stateless people without passports. It’s called a laissez-passer which means ‘let them pass’.
This latest album, Laissez Passer crosses as many borders as the internet. The title song made me want to get up and dance. Love the beat and the inbetweeness of notes.
Listen to it here
Read the English translation here