Epitonic.com Relaunching With Original Founders

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One of the First, Most Beloved Editorial Music Sites Rises like a Phoenix from the Cold, Dead Ashes

Epitonic.com, one of the Web’s first and most beloved editorial music sites, is excited to announce that it is relaunching with the original founders back at the helm.

First launched in 1999, Epitonic posted free and legal MP3s, working directly with artists and labels. All of the music was selected, written about and posted by an office full of young music lovers who practiced what they preached – DJ’ing, touring, going to shows, and collecting records. Passionate editors created reviews of their favorite genres and bands, most of which were on independent labels – or no labels at all. This might sound pretty common today, but back then, Epitonic was among the first.

“Starting Epitonic was amazing and chaotic,” said Justin Sinkovich, original co-founder and current CEO. “Now, we’re elated (and honestly a little shocked) to own Epitonic once again. Our goal is pretty straightforward: To recapture the spirit of the original site by curating and filtering underground music, using new technology and features that were unfathomable when the site was originally built.”

Epitonic was founded by Justin Sinkovich, Aaron Newton and Scott Bilby, who grew up in small Southern towns without the luxury of great venues or record stores to help them find new music. They decided to create a web site that would help even the most geographically challenged fan discover new albums, bands and genres.

At its height, Epitonic had hundreds of thousands of unique monthly visitors, love from countless bands and labels, a Wired “Best Music Site” nomination, and a Webby Award.

Unfortunately, the site fell upon hard times, as did many of that era, and although Chris Blackwell’s Palm Pictures stepped in to save Epitonic from being shuttered, it eventually went dormant in 2004.

Everyone moved on. For example, Justin went on to create the digital distribution and promotion at Touch and Go Records, run a record label, record and tour with his band The Poison Arrows, and now teaches full-time in the Arts Entertainment Media Management Department at Columbia College Chicago.

In this new iteration, Justin will manage Epitonic, while Aaron will oversee its development and Scott will act as an editor. Other original Epitonic folks are back as well – lead developer Alex Cruikshank and media relations' Colette Sandstedt will both reprise their roles, and Nyles Lannon, original marketing director and very first hire, will be involved as an editor.

To get the ball rolling, there’s a temporary Epitonic site, a Kickstarter fundraising campaign, and an Epitonic Twitter feed. The original Epitonic site has also been reposted for fans’ nostalgic enjoyment. The new site will go live at http://www.epitonic.com in the next few months.


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Colette Sandstedt
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