Mamer – 星空 = Sky = Kêngistik

Mamer’s signature dombra solo album Kêngistik (meaning “sky” in Kazakh), arguably one of his best-received and widest-known works to date. Apart from tracks 3, 7, 9, 11 which are Mamer’s own composition, all tracks are interpretations of tradition Kazakh tunes. Instead of showing off his skills in the high-speed type of playing typical of dombra virtuosos, Mamer plays the dombra note by note, slowly and calmly, with heavy reverb. His approach to the instrument here, as in his other solo releases, reflects Mamer’s unique and contemporary understanding of the music tradition of his people.

The album was recorded in 2010, during the same session of Iz’s album Kөlêngkê. In the studio, Mamer involved in an argument with his friend Fei when the latter asked whether Mamer had “abandoned” the Kazakh tradition for rock music. Mamer turned the light off, recorded the whole album on dombra in one go, and left his friend with his answer: “This is my kind of tradition.”


Available as a 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC download