An international musical ecosystem: Rani Jambak and Yes No Wave serve up boundary-pushing Indonesian music

Vancouver’s Western Front will be hosting Rani Jambak, a rising star in the Indonesian experimental electronic music scene, as part of a broader showcase from Indonesian label Yes No Wave from Oct. 18-19. This show marks Jambak’s first major international tour.

Photo courtesy of Western Front

Jambak, a composer and performer focused on the world of electronic music, has played with a variety of other genres. She is also one of a select few Indonesian women in the world of electronic music who have gotten the opportunity to tour at this level. She sees this show as a way for her to help represent women in electronic music and promote their work as well as her own on an international level.

“I’m so emotional” says Jambak, “because I get to bring the spirit of Indonesian women and bring some of their music to Canada. So yeah, it’s a big thing for me, very big. And I’m really happy that Canada is part of the next big step in my career.”

“I’m nervous, and honored. Not many Indonesian artists, especially women, get this kind of chance,” says Jambak.

Indonesia’s diverse electronic music scene

The “chance” Jambak referred to is the Yes No Wave tour making its way across Canada this month. Based in the Javanese cultural hub Yogyakarta, Yes No Wave Music is a non-profit online record label from Indonesia which helps artists make their work freely available for use and consumption in the international community. Its style is based on the idea that “art can be a tool for social movement” according to the show’s curator Aki Onda.

Rani Jambak. | Photo by Ori Semloko

The tour showcases a variety of the label’s talent chosen to reflect the wide range of practices used by the artists they work with. In addition to Jambak, these include the punk duo Gabber Modus Operandi, as well as Woto Wibowo (Wok The Rock), founder of Yes No Wave.

Jambak became involved with Yes No Wave in 2019 and was immediately interested in working with the label on projects going forward.

“It was really interesting to me because they bring, or help bring diversity to the electronic scene in Indonesia,” says Jambak. “I think it is also part of the effort of Yes No Wave to celebrate the diversity of music itself… It’s really interesting how they develop not only in Indonesia, but I think maybe Yes No Wave is more popular outside of Indonesia than in Indonesia itself.”

For Jambak, this musical diversity also extends to the influences, styles, and eras that Yes No Wave enables its artists to pull from.

“What I really love about this now is they’re not only focusing on the experimental or the electronic music scenes, but also how local music or traditional music influenced that style. That’s why I really love doing work with them,” says Jambak.

Now that she’s joined the tour, she hopes the shows help facilitate further sharing between Canadian and Indonesian musicians, as well as bring more attention to Yes No Wave and its values.

“I feel like maybe we can learn from each other… not only how we present our music, but also behind our music. We bring our background and traditional influence with us,” says Jambak.

“I feel like we can learn from each other, and also how music, experimental music, developed in Vancouver and Canada in general,” says Jambak. “What is experimental for you and what is experimental for us? Maybe we can experiment from both sides. So yeah, I’m really looking forward to meeting other artists in Canada.”

For more info on the event, visit