Ashkhabad was a Turkmen folklore band formed in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Members consisted of Atabai Charykuliev (vocals), Gasan Mamedov - (violin), Sabir Rizaev (clarinet, soprano, saxophone), Kurban Kurbanov (accordion) and Hakberdiev Alamuradov (dep, hammer, varnish). The musicians of the band individually built their careers by playing at weddings. Surviving a state campaign against Islamic wedding music (at one point, Charykuliev was confined to a mental institution for continuing to play), the dissolution of the Soviet Union enabled him to continue performing.
After several concert performances (including a performance on Turkmen television together with singer Aziza), he was awarded the title ‘‘Honorable Traditional Musician of the People‘‘ by the newly independent Republic of Turkmenistan. Ashkhabad was soon formed as a Muslim wedding music supergroup, naming itself after the capital of Turkmenistan. After one of the band's shows was recorded at a studio in Germany and given a tour in Europe, Charykuliev said that he owed all that he had to the President of Turkmenistan at that time Saparmurat Niyazov. In March 21, 2009, Charykuliev died in Ashgabat.
Links To Peel
Peel played tracks from the band's City Of Love album through the Real World record label in 1993, probably because of his love of accordion and clarinet music in folk music. The album was released under a one off collaboration between Real World and the Virgin label. After the album release, the group collaborated with Greek artists on an independent Greek label and further materials under Russian ones.
- 15 May 1993: 'Shalakho (CD – City Of Love)' (Real World Records)
- 17 May 1993 (BBC World Service): Shalakho (CD Album - City Of Love) Real World (Published by Womad Music)
- 29 May 1993: ‘Bibining (CD - City of Love)’ (Real World Records)
- 23 July 1993: Bibining (CD City Of Love) Real World Records CDRW34
- Peel Out In The States (Program 09 & 10): 'Shalakho (CD – City Of Love)' (Real World Records)