Flight Free Fès

A playlist inspired by a slow journey from Germany to France to Spain to Morocco

Nono Gigsta

(Berlin)


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During a recent flight-free trip from Berlin (Germany) to Fès (Morocco), I crossed the borders between Germany, France, Spain, the strait of Gibraltar and Morocco. This led me to experience borders in a completely different way. As a white able-bodied woman holding French and Belgian passports, this journey reminded me of my privilege and the ridiculous irony of border controls in a time of climate and humanitarian crises. Here is a playlist that echoes these feelings and features some of the music I’ve been digging recently.

*****

1. Driss Bennis Pres. OCB — Transport

A fellow train lover, Moroccan producer Driss Bennis named his label ‘Casa Voyager’, after Casablanca’s main train station! The sounds of this 2022 release as OCB somehow remind me of the Detroit electro duo Drexcyia. One recurring theme in their work is the aquatic world inhabited by “drexcyians”, a civilization of Black people who fell in the ocean during the slave trade.

*****

2. Mumdance & Logos — Border Drone

Quick research of ‘border drone’ led me to a website asserting that they ‘facilitate safe control of these critical zones.’ This description sends shivers down my spine. Not pleasurable ones. UK producers Mumdance & Logos’ interpretation of ‘Border Drone’ layers looping beeps atop misty chords. I used to listen to the whole album a lot when it came out in 2015, and I’m so glad I rediscovered it on this occasion.

*****

3. bergsonist — Gaza Border Violence

Currently based in NYC, but born in Morocco, bergsonist is as prolific as she is talented. I’ve been spending entire afternoons happily going through her discography. Though the title of this track seems political, it came out on an album that also reflects on music genres, identity and how they’re sometimes being put into boxes: ‘Middle Ouest is an ode to my history, present and future self. (…)  I’m not a box but a genre-less ocean. I don’t make genres, I just make music I feel like making in the moment. (…) I’m just a free sonic ‘voyageur’.

*****

4. DÉERR — Punkal

German producer AIIOM and Senegalese rapper Baba Sy joined forces on this album, Punkal, which came out In 2022. On the music video for the title track, several maps of various African regions and their current borders appear as animated maps. The lyrics of the album evoke “corruption, hedonism, closeness to nature and family and much more ».

*****

5. Saint Abdullah — hy.poc.risy

Iranian-Canadian (now Brooklyn residing) brothers Mohammad and Mehdi Mehrabani-Yeganeh’s work often engages with themes related to immigration. Their 2020 release ‘Where do we go, now?’ captured ‘the sounds, stories, and full weight of what it feels like to live in a country, and broader political context, that considers one’s identity as the root of all its problems.’ A purchase of their releases often comes with a free pdf of Alex Vitale’s The End Of Policing. Their track hy​.​poc​.​risy came out on their 2018 EP ‘Stars Have Eyes’. I want to believe that’s true and if so, how would they look at our current borders?

Nono Gigsta

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.

Nono is a musician, writer and environmental campaigner.

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