The second feature length  documentary explores the origins of the Rock in Opposition (RIO) movement in the late 70s, and how it continues to influence contemporary bands throughout the world.

Five Bands: ‘Five rock groups the record companies don’t want you to hear’. This was the tag in the poster of the first RIO festival in 1978, symbolizing the anti-commercial stance of these bands and the ‘uncompromising’ character of their music. RIO bands embrace musical styles such as progressive rock, Zeuhl, improvisation, noise, avant rock, jazz, classical, folk and often extreme experimentation. 

One Movement: United in their opposition to the music industry and the pressures of compromise over art, this collective of progressive bands started a movement that remains one of the reference points that many listeners, musicians, and distributors use to describe a cooperative approach of making and distributing non-mainstream music. 

A Legacy: Even when RIO as a movement was short lived at the time, it spearheaded the creation of its own progressive music subgenre, a category called RIO/Avant Progressive that is being used to label contemporary bands from across the world. 

The film also highlights eleven active RIO/Zeuhl/Avant progressive music bands from North America, Europe and Japan:

Aranis - Chamber Rock (Belgium)

Guapo - Zeuhl/Post-Rock (England)

Hamster Theater - Avant Folk (USA)

Magma - Zeuhl (France)

Miriodor - Avant Rock (Canada)

Present - Heavy Chamber Rock (Belgium)

Ruins Alone - Avant Zeuhl (Japan)

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Avant Metal (USA)

Thinking Plague - Avant Rock (USA)

Univers Zero - Chamber Rock (Belgium)

Yugen - Avant Rock (Italy)

Interviewed musicians that were active in the 70s include Chris Cutler (Henry Cow/Art Bears), Gerard Hourbette (Art Zoyd), Marc Hollander (Aksak Maboul), Christian and Stella Vander (Magma), Giorgio Gomelsky, Roger Trigaux (Present), Franco Fabbri (Stormy Six), Lars Krantz (Samla Mammas Manna), Ferdinand Richard (Etron Fou Leloublan), Bruno Meillier (Etron Fou Leloublan), Michel Berckmans (Univers Zero), and Daniel Denis (Univers Zero).

In addition we’ll hear the opinions of many younger contemporary avant-progressive musicians that are members of some of the bands mentioned above, festival organizers, label owners, and fans of the RIO/Avant progressive scene.


According to legendary Eurock magazine’s editor Archie Patterson, the RIO philosophy was that rock was a form of art and culture, opposed to business as usual on all levels. Their ethos, “making music record companies didn’t want to hear"

Romantic Warriors II - About Rock in Opposition