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Yes No Wave Music: Free Music from Indonesia

Visiting Hidden Corners of the Global Netlabel Phenomena | While internet data highways connect more and more countries and cultures all over the world, the distribution of music speeds up and we get access to places we've never been. Places like Indonesia where cassettes are still a commonly used medium to listen to music next to CDs and MP3s. Indonesia where netlabelism is still a tiny growing plant but where the idea of Creative Commons fall with its seeds on a rich ground. Welcome to the world wide web and the first netlabel from Indonesia: Yes No Wave Music.

The head behind the Indonesian netlabe called Yes No Wave Music is Wok The Rock. As a visual artist he lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The 33 years old loves music since his 8th birthday and released his first album when he was 16. In the old days he used an old tape recorder for his first release.

Wok The Rock was involved in the punk scene 1996, writing and publishing a zine, formed a label which focused on punk music, built a web-based punk community and organized some underground music gigs. In 2002 he began forming and organizing Ruang MES 56, an artists initiative space focused on contemporary photography. In 2007 he started Yes No Wave Music by himself with the help of Bagus Jalang who writes the liner notes for each release. For a living he does web and graphic design.

Running the first netlabel in Indonesia: Wok The Rock

For Germans, Indonesia is far away. I have no clue how easy or difficult it is to release music in Indonesia. So tell us! Are there "normal" labels, are there "netlabels" and how do people in Indonesia get their music?

Indonesia which has the biggest music industry in South-East Asia, exports its music production to nearby countries like Singapore, Malaysia and even Japan. Unlike mainstream music industry, Indonesian underground music has more various and progressive genres from indiepop to drum n' bass, dub, post rock, math rock and experimental jazz which has a good fan base in many countries. One of Indonesias most popular electro pop bands, Goodnight Electric, was invited by Goethe-Institut to perform on c/o pop Festival in Cologne, Germany.

It's not hard to release a record in Indonesia. In some big cities in Indonesia, there are lots of unexpensive record studios. For your information, cassette is still popular to be used. The cost for cassette duplication is very affordable for bands with not-so-much money. The cost for cover sleeves are also cheap.

But when the internet became popular, the selling of casssettes and CDs decreased. Pirated CDs are a horible monster for Indonesias music industry. In every corner of the city, pirated audio CDs, MP3 (CD Data), and DVD Movies are affordable and easy to find. Torrent, Rapidshare and other blogs which provided songs in illegal MP3 format are very common for a lot of teenage music fans.

But, although while they are very common with torrent or other file sharing systems and there is a zine that writes reviews about some netlabel releases around the world, teenage music fans still are unfamiliar with netlabels. Yes No Wave Music is the first netlabel in Indonesia and started in April 2007.

When and why did you choose do release music under creative commons licences in Indonesia?

The DIY (Do It Yourself) ethics and the distribution of pirate material are the main reason for me to run this netlabel. To release free music together with a digital license is the logic consequence to deal with the current conditions. To get more profit, the selling of band merchandise has became more effective than the selling of CDs or cassettes. Through a netlabel, bands can easily distribute their songs more widely. With more people listening, this will impact the selling of the bands merchandise and the chance to get a gig.

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About the Author

Phlow-Author Moritz »mo.« Sauer This article was written on 12.November 2008 by Moritz »mo.« Sauer. Moritz »mo.« Sauer is the founder of and a true music lover. As a participant and journalist of the free music movement he joined several Netaudio parties in Europe including Netaudio Nürnberg, Netaudio Barcelona, Netaudio London or Netaudio Bern. Read more articles written by .


  • interesting that this came out today. i found yes no wave music this morning while searching for indonesian music on there are definitely some great stuff out there from our southeast asian neighbors.

    Gravatar of erasmusa erasmusa said on
    12. Nov 2008 at 3:54 pm
    Link #1

  • i guess, Phlow had a good timing :)

    Gravatar of mo. mo. said on
    12. Nov 2008 at 4:19 pm
    Link #2

  • super! well done boy, very interesting...

    Gravatar of bettina rhymes bettina rhymes said on
    12. Nov 2008 at 5:41 pm
    Link #3

  • Definitely one of the most exciting netlabels at the moment! And I was several times on their merchandise site thinking about if I should purchase one of those cool sweatshirts :)

    Gravatar of roland roland said on
    12. Nov 2008 at 9:47 pm
    Link #4

  • thanks a lot Mo for the interview! and thanks for all you guys out there who spend your time for downloading and appreciate our releases!

    Gravatar of Wok The Rock Wok The Rock said on
    12. Nov 2008 at 10:45 pm
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  • hi roland. i'm on my way to find out how to deliver our stuffs overseas in a good price. i'll let you know if its available.

    Gravatar of Wok The Rock Wok The Rock said on
    12. Nov 2008 at 10:52 pm
    Link #6

  • Yeah...finally YNWM at here.
    I don't know maybe they're the 1st netlabel in Indonesia and maybe not. But i'm sure they're fully committed in Indonesia music especially at independent music scene. And they're through YNWM always provides new release.

    Well netlabel in Indonesia isn't just YNWM but I think they're the one which still exist until now. I also did some reviews of their best release at my music blog and put them at its blogroll.

    Congrats for Wok The Rock & Bagus Jalang. Keep up the good work bro!!!

    Gravatar of tambenk tambenk said on
    13. Nov 2008 at 8:38 am
    Link #7

  • congrats wok! you've been interviewed by this popular website. mo, you can listen to our stuff there on my link. my band's YNW artist (glad they released our single there). also, our mini album released by eDogm (

    Gravatar of gembi gembi said on
    13. Nov 2008 at 9:56 am
    Link #8

  • [...] und vierten Song dieser Top5-Ausgabe entdeckte ich durch die unermütlichen Netaudioschnüffler von phlow-magazine. Da wäre zum einen “Kupu-Kupu” von Zoo, die so eine Art Mental-Mathrock produzieren, [...]

    Gravatar of TOP5 Ausgabe 015 TOP5 Ausgabe 015 said on
    13. Nov 2008 at 4:11 pm
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  • yes, there are some netlabels in Indonesia:,en/

    Gravatar of Wok The Rock Wok The Rock said on
    13. Nov 2008 at 7:05 pm
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  • [...] Interview Yes No Wave’s Wok the Rock dengan Phlow [...]

    Gravatar of Yes No Wave’s Wok The Rock diinterview Phlow Magazine « Yes No Wave’s Wok The Rock diinterview Phlow Magazine « said on
    20. Nov 2008 at 7:33 pm
    Link #11

  • [...] For further interviews and read more articles about netaudio culture, please click here [...]

    Gravatar of Wok The Rock » Blog Archive » Wawancara Phlow Magazine Dengan Yes No Wave Music Wok The Rock » Blog Archive » Wawancara Phlow Magazine Dengan Yes No Wave Music said on
    23. Nov 2008 at 1:37 pm
    Link #12

  • [...] Read more here.. [...]

    Gravatar of XEROXED » Interview Yes No Wave Music By Phlow Magazine XEROXED » Interview Yes No Wave Music By Phlow Magazine said on
    18. Jul 2009 at 9:04 am
    Link #13