Eles / Элес

Published: September 22, 2016

Eles (Элес, meaning “dream” in English, and not to be confused with the Kazakh girl band of almost the same name) was a contemporary Kyrgyz band popular in the 1990s and 2000s. They sang in Russian and Kyrgyz. One of the most successful Kyrgyz bands of all time, they are credited with being one of the first Kyrgyz rock/pop groups, paving the way for future Kyrgyz music of all genres. Their music is a mix of pop/boy-band, jazz, and some less internationally familiar Kyrgyz influences.

The group was formed in 1985, in what was then Frunze (now Bishkek). Original members included Erkin Mukashev (Эркин Мукашев), Alisher Ishimov (Алишер Ишимов), and Oleg Zubkov (Олег Зубков). Their first hit was “Mirage” (“Мираж”), which was featured in several films. Members have come and gone over the years—there are estimates that up to 40 people took part in the band, with many now fronting other bands.

One of its most influential was Aktan Isabaev (Актан Исабаев), who joined the group in 1996 along with drummer Sergey Sokolov (Сергей Соколов). The band’s popularity surged under Isabaev’s leadership: he steered them toward a soul/blues sound, but left after disagreements with other members. The group lasted until 2002 but then broke up, soon after the death of one of their members, Azamat Ashirbekov (Азамат Аширбеков). The other members of the team at the end were Sokolov, Nurlan Mambetov (Нурлан Мамбетов), and Sergey Reshetnikov (Сергей Решетников). Another of the band’s all-time most famous members is singer Saltanat Ashirova (Салтанат Аширова), who is now working with Mambetov.

Eles released five albums over the course of its existence, two mostly in Russian and three mostly in Kyrgyz.


“Where are You?” (“Кайдасың”), one of the Kyrgyz-language hits:


Lyrics for “Кайдасын”:

Биз жүргөн айлуу түн кайда,
Биз үзгөн жыпар гүл кайда.
Көзүңдөн секет болоюн,
Көрүнүп койчу бир кайра.
Жалбырак жайдын кечи эле,
Жанаша баскан кез эле.
Тамаша кыял сөз айтсам,
Таарына түштүн тез эле.
Кыялдын минип кемесин,
Кыйналдым качан келесиң.
Кыйнаган менин жанымды,
Кымбаттуу, кандай немесиң
Кыялым чертип түркүн күү,
Сен карап койсоң сүйкүмдүү
Тымызын ичим тызылдап,
Сагындым сенин күлкүңдү


“I Need You” (“Ты мне нужна”):



Lyrics for “Ты мне нужна”:

Нежная пою для тебя
В лунном свете так красивы твои глаза
Песнm о любви так сладка
Не могу не петь тебе
Для тебя ведь ты достойна
Твои глаза бездонны утонуть в них возможно
Чтоб понять всю тебя
Нехватит мне и жизни моей
Ты мне нужна как чистый воздух и вода
Я буду петь для тебя
Буду петь я долго, долго
Твои глаза бездонная река
О боже ты мне нужна

Поднимаюсь я к небесам
Мне так хорошо как будто я там
Стоит лишь закрыть мне глаза
Кажется вселенная вся упадет к твоим нагом
Твои глаза бездонны утонуть в них возможно
Чтоб понять всю тебя
Нехватит мне и жизни моей

Пойми и не суди
Я не могу без тебя
Мою душу возьми, сердце возьми
Я жду, зову
Ты мне так нужна

Припев (х 2)


About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie studied Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk and before that, Bishkek, with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

View all posts by: Julie Hersh