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.

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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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Click to open huge screenshot of Yes No Wave Music Website (ca. 1 MB)

Have many people in Indonesia access to the internet? And how is the response to your music?

Internet is very popular in Indonesia. In many big cities there are lots of places, like campus, cafés, artspaces, that provided a free Wi-Fi-access to the web. Almost every office has an internet access. In Yogyakarta, where I’ve lived, affordable internet cafés can be found everywhere.

After six months, Yes No Wave Music gets lots of attention from the music scene. Some of the national media interviewed me and wrote articles about my label and the netlabel. One of the media was the Indonesian Rolling Stone Magazine. They also noted Yes No Wave Music in an article about record labels and the music industry in Indonesia.

The Upstairs is the first mainstream band who released their music on Yes No Wave Music. Yes No Wave Music also became the label of the month in Dogmazic, a netlabel portal from France.

Who releases on your netlabel? Do you focus only on musicians from Indonesia?

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Yes No Wave Music never had a limitation to a certain music genre. We also get in touch with any band, either mainstream or underground, as long as we love the music and the musicians are unique and interesting characters. We also aren’t limited to any country, race or nation. One of our release, Very Expensive Porno Movie, came from Croatia. Of course, music from Indonesia provides the biggest portion because the promotion of Indonesian music to an international audience is one of our aims.

What are your three favorite releases on Yes No Wave Music and why?

**[yesno013] “Music Beyond No Borders Vol. 2”**
“This compilation shows the various genre of music in Indonesia.”
**[yesno005] Zoo “Kebun Binatang”**
“Zoo is my favourite math-noise rock band.”
**[yesno008] Shorthand Phonetics “Apparently…I’m In Medicine / Love, or the Illusion of the Beginning Symptoms of It”**
“This is a one-man band, a bedroom musician who didn’t play digital/electronic music and had been released all his good-and-clever-lyrics songs through The Internet Archive since 2003. This is a very rare ways in Indonesia. Our encounter was like adam and ever!”** **

Links to Yes No Wave Music

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