In the days before MP3 blogs blanketed the land, there was Epitonic, which offered users the opportunity to download select free MP3s from mostly indie labels and could easily be rifled through for hours on end (especially since it launched in the tail-end of the dialup era). The site went dormant in 2004, but after a successful Kickstarter campaign raised enough money to bring it back from the dead, it soft-relaunched last month. Today it returned in slightly more roaring fashion, complete with a couple of exclusive-to-Epitonic tracks and a few playlist-type features. The site’s virtual shelves are now stocked with currently buzzy acts like The Weeknd and the Joy Formidable, but there are quite a few gems in the archives. Eight very biased suggestions, after the jump.
“I Have The Password To Your Shell Account,” Barcelona
One of the catchiest odes to password-hacking ever, this song brims with nerd glee.
Mary Timony is now tearing off heads with Wild Flag. This live version of an early track shows off her deliberate, idiosyncratic guitar playing.
“Some Vital Function,” Eltro
A drowsy, reverb-filled track from a Philly trio.
“A Riot Failure,” Hurl
Pummeling, yet self-aware enough to know when to quiet things down a little bit.
“Puzzled Into Pieces,” All Natural Lemon and Lime Flavors
A bit vertigo-inducing, but with a lovely hook at its core.
“Get On The Floor (and Move It),” Rocketship
Proof that indiepop, when it wants to, can actually get kinda sexy.
“Why Does The World Have To Modernize,” We Ragazzi
Taut and pouty, this spazzy Chicago trio still feels somewhat ahead of its time.
“You Stupid Asshole,” Mudhoney
Good for most occasions. (At least for me.)
Feel free to suggest your own. Or if Epitonic’s relaunch has sent you on a binge of early-adopter music-discovery sites, perhaps you can help us find the baby named after the Internet Underground Music Archive?