Documentary on Bandung’s rock and metal music scene premieres online today

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

A new documentary on Bandung’s music scene, especially its rock and metal bands, premieres online today.

The film titled Gelora: Magnumentary of Gedung Saparua covers the Indonesian city’s rock and metal bands that have risen to prominence. It also charts the evolution of Bandung’s output of independent music over the decades.

Gelora: Magnumentary of Gedung Saparua will be available to stream for Indonesian viewers from today (June 15) at 8pm WIB. The film can be viewed on the websites of Rich Music and Extreme Moshpit, along with ticket provider Loket and streaming platform Vidio.

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Watch the trailer for the documentary here, which introduces how the live venue Saparua became a melting pot of music and incubator of Bandung’s rock and metal music scene:

The film was officially announced in March via a press conference by media platform Rich Music, who serve as its executive producers. It also kicks off a new project by Rich Music named DistorsiKERAS, which aims to document music scenes in various Indonesian cities.

Gelora: Magnumentary of Gedung Saparua is directed by Alvin Yunata, guitarist of Bandung alternative rock band Teenage Death Star.

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.

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In the March 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.”

DistorsiKERAS plans to work on a separate feature film on Indonesian rock and metal music.

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