Portishead and Massive Attack are among the artists supporting a new Bristol, England-based music Web site called Bristol Sound (www.bristolsound.com).
The groups will sell music on the site, as well as provide it with up-to-date news, according to Rachel Owen, a spokesperson for Bristol Sound.
Portishead's Geoff Barrow, Alpha's Andy Jenks and John Stapleton DJed the official launch party for the site Thursday.
"We've never had much of a music industry down here, mainly because of how near we are to London," Barrow said at the party. "So, I think this new site could be really helpful for promoting new bands coming forward."
Bristol Sound features music and information on the city's eminent artists, along with up-and-coming acts such as Day One and Lupine Howl.
"The goal of the site is to promote Bristol music to the rest of the world," Owen said via e-mail. "If you take a look around the site, it has everything for people who are interested in the Bristol scene, as well as advice and information for local musicians who are looking to get started on their careers."
Bristol Sound expects to begin sponsoring concerts and music-related events before the end of the year. "The site has only just gone live, so we are still in the process of getting in touch with bands and vice versa," Owen said.
Bristol's music scene, long a breeding ground for the instrumental sample-based style often referred to as trip-hop, has grown enormously in recent months, Day One vocalist Phelim Byrne said recently.
"It's funny because we were just on a big promo tour in Europe, and the first question was always, 'What's the scene like in Bristol?' And I would say, 'There's no Bristol scene in the sense that we don't all hang out at the same place.' And then when I got back, I checked my bag and went straight to a club and everybody on the Bristol scene was there."
Day One, which also includes DJ and instrumentalist Donnie Hardwidge, released their debut album in February on Massive Attack's Melankolic label. Ordinary Man showcases the duo's unique blend of jazz and mellow hip-hop.
Portishead formed in the early '90s and popularized trip-hop with their 1994 debut album, the genre template Dummy, and the hit single "Sour Times" (RealAudio excerpt). The duo of Barrow and singer Beth Gibbons released their self-titled follow-up in 1997 and a live album, PNYC, last year. Portishead reportedly will begin work on their third studio album this summer.
Massive Attack emerged from the 1990 break-up of the UK's Wild Bunch production crew. The trio of 3D (born Robert Del Naja), Daddy G (born Grant Marshall) and Mushroom (born Andrew Vowles) released their influential debut, Blue Lines, the following year but didn't connect with a mainstream audience until 1998's Mezzanine fueled by tracks such as "Angel" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Teardrop" (RealAudio excerpt) which garnered critical acclaim and sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide.
Despite Mushroom leaving the group in 1999, Massive Attack's label said they are recording a follow-up, which is set for release in 2001.