Kyrgyz Music Friday is a (sometimes) weekly feature in which I post a pop music video from an artist in Kyrgyzstan. It could be catchy, annoying, funny, insightful, brilliant, awful, or anything in between. It’s what’s playing on the radio, what all the cool kids are listening to these days. Kyrgyz Music Friday is not trying to appeal to your musical taste (which I’m sure is awesome), but simply gives you a glimpse into how pop music is done on this side of the world. Feel free to share your thoughts on this week’s video in the comment section!
I’m in that post-vacation haze where I’m having difficulty adjusting to my normal routine. Plus, Win is teething. Parenting is so full of blessings! (sarcasm alert)
Anyway, after receiving a few inquiries recently about rock music and metal music in Kyrgyzstan, my friend Erica, a metal music fanatic, decided I needed an education in Kyrgyzstan’s very own black metal band. So no, this is most certainly not pop music, this is Darkestrah with their song, “Sary Oy”. The title means “yellow ravine”, but a Twitter friend informed me that the song is about a village in Issyk Kul by the same name.
@ivorypom Sary Oy is also a village in Issyk-Kul. You are working on your Kyrgyz Music Friday, right? If yes, that song is about the village
— Murat Jumashev (@Dead_Moroz) May 24, 2013
As I was searching for one of their songs to feature, Farrell expressed his dislike of this particular strain of metal, “I like doom metal.” “What’s the difference?” “Doom metal sounds like sludge.” Oh.
My friend Erica told me these guys sing in Kyrgyz, but honestly, I can’t tell. Let’s just say I’m not a metal connoisseur.
Darkestrah is no longer based in Kyrgyzstan, several sources seem to confirm that they’ve settled themselves in Germany, perhaps where they find a more receptive audience to their music. I like that they somehow are the only band listed in the “Modern Music” section of the Music of Kyrgyzstan Wikipedia page. If I had more time in my life (ahem, Darwin), I’d at least update it with a few other people.
But the Wikipedia page is right, if you listen to the first few minutes of the song (let’s be honest, that’s all I could handle) you can clearly hear how Darkestrah marries both Kyrgyz folk music and black metal into their music. It’s not the kind of music I’d ever go out of my way to listen to on my own, but I definitely appreciate how musicians from Kyrgyzstan create original music across so many genres.
Oh yeah! Another interesting thing about Darkestrah that Erica told me, their lead singer is a woman! What? I can’t tell from the vocals. I’m a bit out of my element here, it seems, but some of their band pictures do show a woman.
Any black metal fans out there? What do you think of Darkestrah?