Kazakhstan’s DJs to showcase their unique view on electronic music

Lauren Krieger

Kazakhstan’s underground DJs want you to hear what makes their music special.

With a young scene that grew out of an isolated country hungry for new music, the Kazakhstan electronic music community thrived in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, growing quickly after years of being behind the iron curtain. While the country itself, as well as their underground electronic music scene, isn’t well known around the world, there is an incredibly dedicated and passionate following that keeps their style of sound continually flowing. Although now the industry is reminiscent of the rest of the planet (EDM everywhere!) many DJs still remain loyal to the music that grabbed their attention in the first place. FRISKY Loves Kazakhstan will be bringing these DJs to the airwaves, featuring the energy and atmospheres inspired by a global community and born out of the diverse, beautiful country of Kazakhstan.


Photo via Secret Room

Max Popov
Igor Gladkiy
Nour Makhambetov
Andrey Potyomkin
Slash DX
The Wawawiwas
Den aka R.D.O.
Dan & Woo D.
Free & Easy

We catch up with a few of the featured DJs to give us insight into this unique location and get their perspective on the music:

What makes Kazakhstan’s underground electronic music scene special?

Nurkan: For a start, I would like to say a few words about our country. Kazakhstan is often confused with Pakistan and Afghanistan by foreigners who suppose there is no difference. But it’s far otherwise. The country has a rich history, deep rooted traditions, beautiful nature and hospitable people of more than 100 nationalities with different cultures and religious views.

Words are not enough to explain. You need to see it.

As to the underground electronic music in Kazakhstan, I can’t say that it’s massively listened in our country. But I am pleased to know that there are quite many people who know and listen to it. I think it would be better if our real masters will give their answers.

Nour Makhambetov: Specific eastern-asian aura, mixed with hunger for good music.

Slash_dx: Some do not even know of the existence of Kazakhstan, not to mention its electronic music scene. But it is, and we have something to show.

The Wawawiwas: Soviet isolation along with geographical remoteness kept us far away from what was happing on the electronic scene for while until internet made us part of the modern world. At this very moment everything spilled over our heads. People were thirsty for new music, new genres and everything that comes with it. We are not spoiled in this sense as music lovers in other countries are.

What venues or festivals should visitors and locals check out?

Nour Makhambetov: Situation is pretty same like everywhere – EDM bars and clubs are popular, but Dacha bar and Secret Room are slightly different with good residents and special guests playing underground house.

The Wawawiwas: Kazakhstan is a huge country with small population and most of the land is wild and untouched. Not sure if cities and clubs can surprise tourists but we have plenty of places for eco-tourism, fishing, hunting etc. Here we are trying to combine nature with music on a small series of events called Cosmic PicNic which take place high up in the mountains and gather truly devoted people.

Slash_dx: Just a couple of years ago, I would not hesitate to say – “Da Freak club”. Unique place, worked for 8 years. Many artists were asked to change a plane ticket to stay there after gigs. But now its closed. Now you should check 2nd floor “Chukotka bar”, named “Dacha”.

Photo via Da Freak Club

Photo via Da Freak Club

How did the electronic music scene in Kazakhstan evolve? What changes are there today from the beginning?

Nour Makhambetov: The scene is young – less than 20 years, starting with massive clubs, amazing vibes in 90-s, and ended now with shitty bars and horrible music. Thank God we still have real underground scene, which though does not have big affect.

Slash_dx: We had good parties, great time and great names at the parties in 2003-2008, but now… flipping EDM…

The Wawawiwas: As mentioned previously everything started after iron curtain had fallen in nineties. Club scene reached it’s peak at the beginning of 00’s, but then EDM took over. Now everything is pretty much the same as elsewhere in the world except that big DJs and artists don’t visit us that often.

Tell us a little bit about the DJs to be featured on FRISKY Loves Kazakhstan.

Nour Makhambetov: Those who were chose for this feature are creme-de-la-creme of DJ elite in KZ, representing true professionals dedicated their life to great music, no matter what!

The Wawawiwas: Most of them where pioneers of local scene, some emerged a bit later but what is for sure is that everyone made a big contribution. We are really glad that more and more of our producers pop out onto a worldwide level.

Slash_dx: They are old-school DJs, faithful to their style, who have experience including radio shows, much more than 8 years.

With 16 DJs, all passionate contributors to their local scene, this episode will feature an incredible collection and variety of underground electronic music. The journey begins on June 27th at 6AM EST / 4PM Astana [convert timezone]. You won’t want to miss it!

Tune In: FRISKY Loves Kazakhstan