It all started when....
End of 80-ies… Nurzhan Toishy (by that time he was Nurzhan Toichiev) was attending secondary school number 120 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. When he was a seventh grader he was "infected" with heavy metal music his classmates listened to.
Listening to the guitar heavy and speedy riffs of James Hatfield, Kerry King, Max Cavalera he recognised some techniques that Kazakh musicians use for centuries playing kui (national instrumental genre of music) on our national instrument Dombyra. Those places in their music excited and used to give incredible energy to listeners and caused blast of emotions.
It was easy for him to understand about similarity of heavy metal riffs and techniques of kuis of Kazakh people owing to dombyra classes he took by the moment. He was attending Zhubanov's musical secondary school (Almaty, Kazakhstan) as outside attendee.
Those days he shared his impressions with his classmates and guys from the school and told them about idea of creating electric dombyra. No one of those few guys supported him and was interested in the idea, as the school was not Kazakh one, it was Russian school. The Kazakh pupil in that school were rather loyal to Russian and Western style and culture than to Kazakh national stuff, so Kazakh stuff was not popular, out of fashion. The time we talk about was the communistic Soviet Age of Kazakhstan. Kazakh youth taught in Russian were far away from national Kazakh music (it was boring then to those who did not speak Kazakh language and was far from Kazakh culture).
However, it was then...There was a lack of opportunities. Those days you could not find spare parts, technology, schemes, there was no shop making electric guitars. At last no money. The idea became a standby option to Nurzhan...for more than 20 years.
21 years past. Year 2009. By that time USSR already collapsed, iron curtain was broken, market economy started its weak motion and develops to its extent we have now in CIS. So there is actually a great opportunity to realize the idea of electric dombyra.
Being in Moscow for his business trip he found there a guitar shop that sold different spare parts for electric guitars. He purchased all needed details for a piece. Then after the trip he met Mr. Murat Kubekov, who was the chief tuner of Kazakh State Conservatory in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He suggested making an experimental sample of electric dombyra according to Nurzhan's design to Mr. Kubekov. Mr. Murat Kubekov was surprised by the idea and agreed to accept the order (the conservatory had different acoustic dombyra shops under his supervision). First electric dombyra was made then.
So overall Mr. Kubekov made with his colleagues three pieces of electric dombyras but they were not fine. That was between November 2009 and June 2010. The necks did not reflect the notes and that was not the only problem...But anyhow the sound of the instrument was very close to the acoustic dombyra and almost did not lose its originality in sound. That promising experiment gave a lot of strength to Nurzhan to continue his efforts to make a perfect electric dombyra with the help of any closest guitar shop. The secret of making dombyra play in its original sound laid in two original absolutely identical guitar strings #4 tuned differently from each other as we do with acoustic dombyra. He was really worried that experimental instrument will sound exactly like guitar but it didn't (because of dimensions of the neck, strings, tuning, body form, etc).
Actually this successful experiment in Almaty makes Nurzhan very grateful to Murat Kubekov. Thank him. So the closest good guitar shop was in Moscow (shamray.ru). What a coincidence that Nurzhan was visiting Moscow for his business at least 4 times a year. It really helped the project go faster! Using those opportunities he ordered in Moscow three dombyras: solo, rythm and bass. The guys from the shop were very interested in that unusual order and they spent 4 hours to discuss all details of the future instruments. The order was made in October 2010. So in February 2011 all the instruments came to Almaty ready to be played on.
Without hesitation Nurzhan chose heavy metal as a genre for this project in order to meet his childhood dream and ultimately reveal unknown sides of the instruments in use.
So we have a whole set of instruments: solo, rythm, bass and drums! Classic!
We know that one can not surprise the world with guitar playing in a band, especially playing rock stuff. There are so many tough groups in the world playing excellent music. There are many unique famous guitarists in the world, but you cannot say so about dombyra players-they are very new to the globe and actually rare. They exist only in CIS countries and neighboring countries where kipchak people live. So this is what makes electric dombyra project different from guitar project:
It was clear what to do with dombyra players (just go and take the best of them to the group, that's it!). The problem was with the drummer. They are rare in Kazakhstan because rock genre, especially heavy metal, is not popular in Kazakhstan not like in other western countries. So Nurzhan sat at the drum set he bought, started playing and singing. So he decided to be a front man of the group however. As he knew many popular kuis of Kazakhs he adopted his drum parts easily and promptly to the music the band plays. Actually for drum music you need only a rock drummer...They fit.
The theme of the group was also clear to Nurzhan: war, courage, bravery, fight, real men's stuff. It was a backbone of the Turkic tribes' folk songs. Kazakh people constituted the fundament of Genghis Khan's army and before him they also lived a war life. It was their main profession along with nomad stock raise.
The name of the group became aldaspan. It is a Kazakh word for a heavy kind of saber used against armoured soldiers and cavalry.
Maksat Hassanov's coming.
Nurzhan in the summer of 2010 was in hurry to introduce his project to Mr. Izbassar Buzaev. He was and is a businessman and owner of the building where Nurzhan rented his office for his permanent job. Izbassar was deadly shocked with the news of electric dombyra existance and its incredible sound, especially distorted sound! So he sincerely granted a room for rehearsal studio in the same building in Almaty. Mr. Buzaev showed incredible respect, moral support to the project. He introduced the project to many of Kazakh artists and composers, poets, musicians he knew. So the first request to Izbassar was to find dombyrists for the project. The very first candidate was Murager, who won in L.A. in a musical instrument performer contest his GP. He is a well known musician in Kazakhstan. He is left handed. When he saw the instrument he could not stop his contact with the instrument for 20 minutes despite the damage of his fingers he got from playing on metal strings (he plays acoustic dombyra with nylon soft strings). He was honored to be invited to the project, but his father refused to support him and insisted to go for the ready job in the Ministry of Foreign affairs of the Republic of Kazakstan (he was invited there a month before, what a pity!). He was pushed by circumstances to his new job, but Murager could not forget about the project and he promised to Nurzhan to bring his friends that play dombyra well. The guy that came with Murager was Maksat Hassanov. Maksat was realy shocked with the instrument's sound and agreed to be in the project.
Maksat was a leading solo dombyrist of the Kazakh State Conservatory by that time and it was autumn of 2010. The spent time in studio using very first electric dombyra making different experimental demos while the guitar shop in Moscow was making concert instruments. During those days of waiting Maksat visited with concerts of his conservatory's orchestra UAE and Germany before the instruments came. He told about incredible reaction of the audience to their playing of dombyra and compositions they played abroad. He was sure that people abroad will like the project.
Coming of Bahytzhan Zhelderbaev.
Once they received three instruments from Moscow Maksat invited his friends from conservatury to the group. Bahytzhan Zhelderbaev was invited as a rythm dombyrist. He was also shocked with the instruments' sound and without hesitation became a permanent group member. He also visited Germany and UAE with Maksat and confirmed that people abroad must like the sound.
Coming of Shamshaddin Omarov.
They needed a bass dombyrist. There was a guy from conservatory called Zhanel, whom Maksat always planned to invite from the beginning. He came to the studio and after getting shocked with the instruments deicided to be in the project but it did not last long as he conflicted during rehearsals with Maksat on the music (working process) and decided to step out of the project to save friendship with Maksat. Zhanel was very good in playing acoustic electric dombyra, he used to win contests in the musical college. Then Bahytzhan invited a guy from the college he finished before conservatory called Dauren. Dauren got shocked with the instruments and agreed to stay with the project but on the very next day he refused as he was not aware about rock genre and didn't like it and besides he was invited before by some guys to play on bass guitar.
Nurzhan's idea regarding bass player from the beginning was about to invite an ordinary dombyra player and to adjust his playing to bass dombyra and go on. Maksat's opinion was about inviting acoustic bass dombyra players and they were met very rare in professional musical world especiallly good ones. They were thinking for several days and agreed to invite an ordinary dombyra player. The invited one became Shamshaddin Omarov. He was Maksat's friend. Acoustic ordinary dombyra player. Shamshaddin was aware about the project as he lived in one room of their campus with Maksat, he liked rock music very much and dreamed to be in the project waiting for Maksat's invitation. Then he smoothly came into the band and they started composing their first songs for their first album. To be continued....
Baha quits the band.
In 2015 Baha quits the band due to his move to Astana with his family.
Coming of Dulat Zhaksylyk.
After auditions Dulat was taken to the band to fill in for Baha in 2015.
Coming of Ruslan Alpisov.
Nurzhan decided to shift to vocals and invited instead of him Zarraza's former drummer Ruslan Alpisov. So in 2015 Ruslan joins the band as a drummer and Aldaspan from then becomes 5 members band.