words: Andy McColgan

Get Physical gets all cinematic on us with the release of recent signing Bronnt Industries Kapital and his Hard For Justice album…

Raw sewage is not something that mixes well with vintage instruments, just ask Guy Bartell, 80s underground cinema obsessive, multi-instrumentalist and Bristol-based record producer who goes by the alias of Bronnt Industries Kapital. Guy is just about to release his debut album for the ever-reliable Get Physical, but on his previous two albums for revered indie label Static Caravan (one time home of folktronica wunderkinds Tunng) he made full use of some borrowed rare instruments – only for them to become victims of an unfortunate accident. So for new album Hard For Justice, Guy has changed his production set-up. But the results are no less stunning.

Hard For Justice enters the realms of the dancefloor much more readily than his previous work, but it’s also unmistakably informed by otherworldly movie soundtracks, and the album’s rich with ethereal soundscapey grandeur and dreamy electronica. A bizarre and/or overbearing mix of ideas, you might think, but all in all it’s well worth a listen, and the shifts in theme, tempo and musical style do nothing to hinder the albums overall appeal.

Unbelievable Computer Of Love is similar to the shoegaze manoeuvrings of Ulrich Schnauss or some of Maps’ better offerings. European Male has the same gypsy folk qualities that have propelled Beirut to a certain level of reverence among the indie-folkeratti, but it mixes that Eastern European baroque folk thing with a healthy dose of Endtroducing-era DJ Shadow to devastating effect. Proper dancefloor moments aren’t scarce either – S.T.R.Y.K.E.R. is spacey Italo disco of a very high standard and feels like it should be soundtracking a 1982 Italian sci fi-flick. Objects Of Desire mixes the driving motorik of Neu! and merges it with more contemporary electro with an uplifting and inspirational end result. In its entirety, this is an album that has taken some interesting and disparate concepts to create a diverse but cohesive whole. It could easily be – as Guy may have been fantasising when producing – a very good soundtrack to a very strange film. But enough of what we think, here’s what Guy had to say when EQ caught up with him last week…

Tell us a bit about how you approached making Hard For Justice.
The album has definitely stepped up a gear from its predecessors, although there was never a conscious decision to up the tempo. It’s something that just happened naturally. It’s the musical equivalent of trading in a Ford Model T for a brand new DeLorean.

Did the approach differ from the way you’ve made albums in the past, with Static Caravan for example?
Hard For Justice is one of the first times in Bronnt that I’ve composed for other players, which has been exciting – in particular recording the woodwind and brass section for European Male. It has also meant a lot more recording in a diverse range of locations, from houses to ‘proper’ studios.

Is it true you’re really into antiquated Victorian instruments? Can you describe some of the instrumentation used in the studio on the new record?
Sadly, most of the more antiquated equipment used on Bronnt’s debut album Virtute Et Industria – such as the Lapwing Harmonium and the Bronson Quartet – fell into disrepair after a regrettable incident involving a burst pipe in an underground storage room. This resulted in many of these fragile instruments being immersed in hundreds of gallons of raw, untreated sewage. Needless to say, the British Museum were not happy, and as a result of the subsequent litigation (and an ongoing claim of negligence against Bristol Water) Bronnt has had to rely on less antique equipment on this album, such as analogue synthesisers and drum machines.

Underground and unusual films are a big influence on the Bronnt sound, right? Does this influence come from actual soundtracks or the themes and concepts behind the films?
Soundtracks can often be subtle affairs, where the music is barely noticeable and achieves a powerfully subconscious effect on the viewer. However, this album is far more influenced by films where the music is as stunning and confrontational as the images, such as the overbearing, often incongruous soundtracking used by many Italian horror directors of the late 70s. Thematically, the album is also influenced by Reaganite vigilante cinema, from a time when it was perfectly normal to celebrate the outsider fighting for the noble idea of “justice”, who was often clearly a deluded thug on a revenge-fuelled rampage.

You’ve collaborated a lot with fellow Bristolian Nick Talbot of Warp Records mainstays Gravenhurst. How did you guys meet?
We’ve never actually met, even though we live just around the corner from each other and have collaborated on both Bronnt and Gravenhurst pieces. We maintain limited contact and insist on communicating only by encrypted fax, to prevent any unnecessary trade secrets being leaked into the public domain.

Is the label you set up together, Silent Age Records, still on the go?
The label is currently in hiatus, although there may be more activity at some point in the future.

The new album also seems to take a lot of the finest musical elements from the 70s and 80s (krautrock, post-punk, leftfield disco, early electronica) and meld them into something very modern. Do you feel these are conscious musical influences on your work?
There was never any conscious decision to try and replicate a particular record or style, but there is obviously my personal attempt to only listen to superior quality European musical fare, and the album came about as a natural consequence of being immersed in this impeccable sound world of cosmic music from the past.

You produced a score to accompany the 1920s silent movie Haxan, and the new album sounds like it should be soundtracking a film. Any plans for more film based projects in the future?
Haxan is an amazing film and was a joy to work on, where the music and images just seemed to merge effortlessly. I certainly intend to work more with film soundtracking, although hopefully with something a bit more accessible than a 1920s subtitled Swedish film about witchcraft.

Has Bristol’s musical heritage of Portishead, Tricky, The Wild Bunch and co been an influence on your music?
It’s hard to escape the influence of such music in Bristol, although as much as I admire the music of these bands, I’ve always been more drawn towards the lo-fi sounds of groups such as Crescent, Flying Saucer Attack and Third Eye Foundation. I’m also enjoying the more hi-fi examples of wonky dance music coming out of our fair city right now.

Is there anyone alive today that you’d really love to work with?
John Carpenter or bust.

What’s next for Bronnt Industries Kapital?
More live shows and the never-ending quest for the perfect sound.

Hard For Justice is out now on Get Physical. Visit and

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“Most of the antiquated equipment fell into disrepair after a regrettable incident involving a burst pipe and gallons of raw, untreated sewage”