Documentary on Bandung’s rock and metal music scene announced

Members of Teenage Death Star, Seringai and Burgerkill are involved in 'Gelora Magnumentary: Saparua'

A new documentary on Bandung’s music scene, especially its rock and metal bands, has been announced.

The film titled Gelora Magnumentary: Saparua will cover the Indonesian city’s rock and metal bands that have risen to prominence, and chart the evolution of Bandung’s output of independent music over the decades.

Gelora Magnumentary: Saparua was officially announced yesterday (March 30) by media platform Rich Music, who are its executive producers of the documentary. It also kicks off a new project by Rich Music named DistorsiKERAS, which aims to document music scenes in various Indonesian cities.

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Gelora Magnumentary: Saparua will be directed by Alvin Yunata, guitarist of Bandung alternative rock band Teenage Death Star. The film is set for release in June 2021. Watch the press conference here.

The documentary will spotlight Bandung’s contemporary metal music scene, which includes stoner metal band Seringai and death metal act Burgerkill. Seringai vocalist Arian13 and drummer Edy Khemod, along with Burgerkill guitarist Eben are all involved in the project.

The film will also touch upon the foundations of Bandung’s music scene, which dates back to the 1970s. Sam Bimbo, whose pop group Bimbo rose to prominence in that era, along with Beacon, who previously served as vocalist for indie pop band Pure Saturday, are also participating in the film.

In the press conference, Yunata spoke on the process of researching the documentary, explaining that it was a particularly difficult endeavour to find archival material from the 1980s and 1990s.

Independent musicians have been active in Bandung for decades, but strict government policies meant that its music scene was not able to flourish until the 1990s. “If you didn’t follow the [government’s] policy, there was no place for you in this music industry,” music historian Kimung told The Guardian in 2018. “The government sees the musical potential of young people, and economises it, but does not allow the development of critical attitudes among musicians in addressing various injustices in society.”

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After the film’s release in June, DistorsiKERAS plans to work on a separate feature film on Indonesian rock and metal music. Also in the pipeline is a virtual concert featuring performances by Burgerkill, Teenage Death Star, The Panturas, Koil, Jasad, KILMS, and Avhath, with more bands to be announced. Further information on these projects will be available in the future.

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