Ariel Bitran
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Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Apr 04, 2013 1 comments
The promise of happiness is elusive. Is it found in the 10-hour workday? Maybe it’s spotted sunbathing on the Portuguese shoreline. Or is it found in a wider soundstage? Sartre teaches, "In life, a man commits himself and draws his own portrait, outside of which there is nothing." So if your actions define who you are, and if you love what you do, then will you find content?
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Apr 03, 2013 2 comments
The day-of-release listening party, a lost tradition? The clever folks at Noisey, Vice’s music subdivision seem to think so. In response, they’re bringing it back on a global spectrum. Today, Wednesday, April 03, 2013 at 3pm EST, Noisey will be streaming the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s new record Mosquito in its entirety while party-goers interact with each other and watch video explanations about the songs from members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is just the first in a series of Noisey’s new Listening Party initiative. For an invite to the party, follow the tweets from @NoiseyMusic.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Apr 01, 2013 4 comments

In a recent Stereophile.com news item, John Marks informed readers about free online music production classes now offered from the esteemed Berklee College of Music. Seems like JM himself is taking up this opportunity. In this video assigment, JM shares his explanation of the ORTF microphone placement technique for stereo recording.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 28, 2013 6 comments
At the end of April, it will be time to renew the lease on my quaint Kensington duplex. Over the past three years, a cast of typical New Yorkers rotated residency within these plaster walls: stand-up comedians, chefs, and real-estate agents; art handlers and opera singers; venue managers and musicians. Claiming residential seniority over this home of interchanging misfits, it was time to stake claim on the room my system most deserved.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 21, 2013 9 comments
Photo by Lalupa, Wikimedia Commons

There sat the hi-fi. Untouched. Unplayed. Unlistenable. Bass resonances continued to torment my sound. Geddy Lee, Paul McCartney, and Sting all produced loose and exaggerated bass energies in unnatural ways. I was constantly perplexed with the unevenness in my bass response. Despite hours of tinkering with speaker placement hindered by random obstructions, namely a queen-size bed, a poorly positioned radiator, and stacks of guitar amps, the bass resonances remained.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 20, 2013 2 comments
Advertising Manager Ed DiBenedetto models the Viper Head.

JA tapped my shoulder: “Do you like headphones?”

“You know I do!” I enthused.

“OK. Give me just a second.”

John Atkinson is never this mysterious. It must be something awesome.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 06, 2013 25 comments

You should know, I'm an absolute sucker for pop music. You should also know, I'm an absolute sucker for love. Or better put: "love".

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 06, 2013 4 comments

Shlohmo! I had a Hebrew School teacher who went by Shlohmo. He smelled like fish skins and wore square, camel-toned, thick-rimmed glasses. Random gray strands of hair dangled from his chin as he tortured us with lessons on silent vowels and morality. His neck bounced when he talked, and he wore his armpit sweat stains like badges of honor. Not sexy, right?

That's why I'm always surprised to hear very sexy music from electronic beat maker Shlohmo.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 01, 2013 4 comments
I remember my first real encounter with the Logitech|UE 900s noise-isolating earphones ($399.99). I broke them out riding the B35 to catch the Q to someplace I don’t remember.The UE 900s’ braided cables unraveled gracefully as I lifted them from their burnished black carrying case.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 28, 2013 10 comments
I would be ashamed of myself if I did not share this with you.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 22, 2013 3 comments

Have you heard enough about Matmos from the Stereophile boys yet? Probably. Truth be told, upon first listen I didn't really like their new record The Marriage of True Minds. I found it aimless (I prefer music with intent), but I'll let Stephen tell you how he grew to love it in our upcoming April issue. Meanwhile, this remix has me thinking I should give the record another listen.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 20, 2013 21 comments
No, this will not be another monologue where I profess my undying love for Larry, our house cat, the furry little monster with a taste for human flesh and a weird fascination with the refrigerator. Larry is a music lover too. Ever since he was a kitten, we surrounded him with the sounds of Yes, Flying Lotus, and Dvorak, and now his long legs fumble into any room where music is playing. Larry will then sprawl himself out, close his eyes, and listen along.

Alright. I've broken my promise already by talking too much about Larry.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 19, 2013 3 comments
On her debut album Ripely Pine, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper delivers a wandering collection of fantastical folk-pop songs with whimsical lyrics about love enveloped by orchestral arrangements rewarding the listener with an assortment of tones and a praise-worthy use of space.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 15, 2013 0 comments
It opens in a field or maybe an orchestra house. Pastoral and slow-moving strings set the stage. Written as a musical accompaniment to Sebastian Hartmann’s theater adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Apparat’s Krieg Und Frieden is desolate yet tinged with reflection and hope, like Wyeth’s Christina’s World or the ending to a Kurosawa film. Harmonies in continuous ascent intersect with subdued blasts of air and dirt. The occasional soulful vocal provides a lyrical back-story to the desolation: “Deserted hopes / Deserted eyes / Deserted souls / Deserted lies,” and then an alternative, “Turn a light on, Turn a light on.” Like Tolstoy’s work, the listener is never sure if the music is about suffering or the triumph within the pain.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 14, 2013 4 comments
In the second installation of this series, the Beast invites Wolverine to his listening room.
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