City of Love

Ashkhabad, 1993

Most members of Ashkhabad are traditional musicians, earning their living by playing at weddings. They take their name from the capital city of their home state of Turkmenistan, formerly a part of the Soviet Union.

Only recently have the new authorities recognised and accepted the validity of the Islamic wedding rites of this Muslim state. At last, the group are able to perform openly and gain exposure through the media. With violin, keyboards, accordion, clarinet, saxophone and percussion, the group's music ranges from wildly romantic melodies to the vibrant folk music of their roots.


  • The ballads are tear-jerking, the dances wild, the whole sound so amazingly universal... ...and yet so easily placed on the map. CMJ (1993) (USA)
  • Raw, startling, uplifting and beautiful...truly sensational. Third Quarter 1993 Orbit (UK)
  • These songs are pure intensity, with a romanticism so different from the sticky sweetness of the popular silver-screen hits... Summer 1993 World Music (UK)
  • ..there can be no doubting their love of and commitment to their traditional music. Folk Roots (1993) (UK)