New, shiny, electronic!

Sacramento’s below-the-radar music scene includes a sizable electronic-music contingent. Its better-known members include the Command Collective—Dusty Brown, Tycho, Chachi Jones, Faster Faster and Fruitbat—but there are a number of other laptop texturalists busy making music around these parts.

And now there is a new local label, Blue Bell Records, based right here in Midtown, which will be releasing a number of electronic-music projects on CD in the near future. The label’s first set will be a various-artists compilation titled Hear You Soon: Part One, which is currently being manufactured. It should be hitting stores sometime this month. The label’s Web address is

Blue Bell’s proprietor is Faith Wolfram, who used to work for once-local independent label Darla Records. During her tenure at that label, which released records by such local acts as Holiday Flyer, California Oranges and Sinking Ships along with national acts My Morning Jacket and others, Wolfram got a good first-hand look at how to run an indie-label operation. And the dream of running a label dedicated to releasing electronic music was always on her mind.

The first volume of Hear You Soon—a second volume will follow later in 2004—features 17 tracks, four of them by local acts: one by the aforementioned Tycho; another by Junobot, a.k.a. Nathan Crow, whose label debut The Nature of Technology will be out on Blue Bell in the spring; another by Junobot and Wolfram, billed as F+N=Robot; and a fourth by Lifeliner+, otherwise known as Wes Steed of the local duo Park Avenue Music.

The set’s best-known non-local act is 808 State, the Manchester electronic amalgamation that once collaborated with Björk and David Bowie. Other contributors include Figurine, Marumari, Aarktica vs. Aaron Spectre, I Am Robot and Proud, hollAnd (who helped with the compilation’s audio mastering), Blue Ribbon, Hausmeister, Greg Davis, Sybarite, Technicolor, Freescha and Lullatone. “It’s a good mix of different types of electronic music,” Wolfram said, pointing out that all of the tracks are exclusive; they’re previously unreleased or are different mixes. “It’s not something that you’ll be hearing anywhere else.”

(You can see Junobot with Scotty Beagle and others on Sunday, January 4, at Moods, 120 I Street—formerly Scratch 8—in Old Sacramento.)