THE STORY SO FAR…
Yab Moung Records is an independent, collectively run record label that provides a platform for Khmer alternative music and art. There is a unique alternative music scene existing within contemporary Khmer society. From Mekong inspired Blues to Death or Black Metal, the music coming from this movement is unique within South East Asia in its context, style and drive. Yab Moung’s mission is to make Khmer alternative music and creativity more accessible and to promote this within Cambodia and throughout the rest of the world.
Thank you to MYD, Subtropical Asia and all the others who believe in us and support us.
The story began in 2014 when a Khmer metal band called Sliten6ix performed at Show Box. Prior to the concert, Timon Siebel had been struggling to deal with his three troublemakers he called students. Stress-ridden, poverty-stricken, the youngsters were having difficulty dealing with social pressure. Theara Ouch, Vichey Sok, and Hing Ouch were attending CAM Projects, a music program funded by American NGO Moms Against Poverty. In the workshops, Un Samphors and Timon Siebel worked with kids and teenagers from difficult backgrounds, teaching them music, video editing, English, math and sports as well as organizing concerts by the kids, and for the kids.
Timon was trying to encourage them to release their aggression through sports and other activities, but to no avail. So he decided to take the boys on a surprise adventure in the hopes that they could channel their anger and resentment through music instead.
The concert was feral and loud. Guitars were slain, drums were pounded, and musical chaos ensued. Three youngsters, with no knowledge of metal, were bemused, and at the same time, ecstatic. This was their introduction to metal / hardcore music.
Soon after, Theara, Vichey, and Hing were enchanted by the sound of chaos and the feeling of catharsis it brought; they started practicing and jamming with their own instruments. By the end of 2015, they formed a Khmer metal band named Doch Chkae with the help of Yab Moung Records. Metal has been their passion ever since, giving them a focus and direction in life. Who would have thought that one tiny, gritty performance at a small venue in the captial lcity could be so life changing?
The band have been performing since then, often performing with local ban Reign in Slumber (formerly Sliten6ix), and another new local band, Silent. Together, the bands have been organising shows in the fashion of D.I.Y ethos. Although the scene has not exploded nationwide, those who do play music within the metal scene and attend shows use the music as a crutch to wade through the sea of anger and an outlet for social pressure.
Currently, Doch Chkae is getting ready to embark on their first big tour to Germany. The guys have been invited by one of the largest metal festivals in the world, Wacken Open Air 2019.
MAPC Music, inspired by the first small metal show by Sliten6ix, is aiming to replicate that therapeutic experience for the new young generation in Cambodia. MAPC Music strives to help enable underprivileged teens to find peace using music as their outlet for angst and depression. The program will consist of multiple music workshops for the children at MAPC and introduce music therapy to Cambodia. We also hope to guide the disadvantaged youth of Cambodia to break the cycle of addiction and poverty, avoid transgressions, and give them a different outlook on life.