Back in 1999, Epitonic was one of the first major sites to offer free MP3s as a way to sample up-and-coming artists’ work. It went into mothballs in the mid-2000s, but more recently co-founder (and Atombombpocketknife singer/guitarist) Justin Sinkovich has been working on reactivating the site, with the help of a Kickstarter campaign. Today, the new version of Epitonic went live, with a staff including a bunch of people who worked on its original incarnation. (There’s an interview with Sinkovich about it at WBEZ’s site.)
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The new Epitonic aggregates authorized, free MP3s (for streaming or downloading) from several hundred independent labels (Matador! Sub Pop! DFA!) and a mountain of artists, from Radiohead to Titus Andronicus to LCD Soundsystem. To celebrate its relaunch, the site’s currently featuring a dozen otherwise unavailable songs, including new material by the Wrens and Marissa Nadler. The navigation is still pretty wonky–it’d be great to be able to click on a track’s title and navigate to the artist’s page, or see the album name and label, for instance–and the “playlists” section includes a bunch of leftovers from an earlier incarnation (it’s frustrating to see dead links to music that’s no longer on the site). But there are still plenty of incredible tracks on the new Epitonic; it’s worth digging around a bit.
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