Ariel Bitran

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Ariel Bitran  |  Oct 10, 2007  |  9 comments

My congregation! Ladies and Gentlemen! I tell you, there is a Pod! Some heathens choose to ignore him and burn for all eternity in the depths of hell, while Air Supply plays a continual concert of doom. Others have seen the light, and they opt instead for superior listening experiences.

I say, for the hi-fi community, there is hope. When I came to Stereophile, the first assignment Mr. Mejias gave me was to assess how I, as a young person, felt about the world of hi-fi. When my official term of Summer Intern was over, I had nothing. Well, I had a lot of stuff in my head, but nothing that I was ready to post on the blog. There was so much pressure. What had I learned here at Stereophile?!?!

So much.

Ariel Bitran  |  Apr 18, 2013  |  3 comments
These $3000 ear-speakers manufactured by the German division of Quad sure do look funny, but they made serious sound in the Headzone room. The Float-QA Headphones flanked gently down my temples and reproduced a carefree and natural delivery full of concert-hall realism. They require the accompanying Float QA-PSU to operate, and fit can be adjusted via a loose head strap. Though they felt a bit wobbly, I’m sure in a stable home setting, these things could easily let you drift away.
Ariel Bitran  |  May 14, 2013  |  0 comments
For gamers, video games can instill a sense of purpose. They imbed the idea in their minds that any ordinary boy or girl can become a hero. On their second full-length record Endless Fantasy, Anamanaguchi recreate the quest of becoming something bigger than yourself.
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  |  Nov 12, 2013  |  2 comments
Tel Aviv’s Vaadat Charigim debut album The World is Well Lost is understated. Simple guitar strums emerge from a low-lying cloud of noise. Drums are pushed to the background while singer/guitarist Juval Haring’s steady stream of baritone strides then tumbles. His syllables topple across the band’s constant pulse. Haring sounds tired, but the never-ending push of The World is Well Lost won’t let him give up.
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  |  Dec 13, 2012  |  10 comments

At its onset, screeching and chopped vocals, a melody cracked off like a piece of firewood from Crystal Castles "Pale Flesh" from their record (III), play catch up with with a deep rubber-band like bass pulse. Crystal Castles' shrieks echo of Lizzi Bougatsos tribal and petrified screams from Gang Gang Dance's Glass Jar, but as the snare guides you to the turnaround and into the verse, a crackling fire-pit of of diced synthesizers and reversed vocal loops, it becomes clear were dealing with something much more electro, something much more IDM-based than the primal screams indicated before.

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  |  May 02, 2013  |  3 comments

On March 27, 2013, Stephen Mejias blogged about the single “Love and Respect” from Danish electro-pop group When Saints Go Machine, which “features Killer Mike offering strong and exciting contrast to Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild’s delicate falsetto.” Although the track left him “wanting more,” SM admitted the restraint from both Killer Mike and Vonsild made his yearning a good thing.

In UNKWON’s remix of this track, the Danish DJ leaves yearning at the door, and unleashes an onslaught of sonic manipulations, big bass, and layered tambourines, handclaps, snares, and bells transforming the track from one of self-discipline to groove indulgence.

Ariel Bitran  |  Jun 24, 2013  |  0 comments
Pepcom is an event organizer that brings together a smattering of technology companies, members of the press, and various forms of the grilled chicken sandwich. Here are the products from the world of audio and its extended fingers that intrigued and appalled.
Ariel Bitran  |  Apr 17, 2013  |  0 comments
Canned jazz: that inoffensive blend of 80s synths, smooth sax, and punchy bass guitar. There was a lot of this at the New York Audio Show.
Ariel Bitran  |  Apr 15, 2013  |  0 comments
Rear shot of the Burmester 909 stereo amplifier ($73,495).

Last year, Burmester relegated their loudspeakers and amplifiers to the grand ballroom of the Waldorf=Astoria, which made their gear easy to see but less accessible to listen to in a concentrated setting. At the New York Palace, Rutherford Audio, the North American distributor for Burmester, hosted their own listening room on the fourth floor with a diverse range of music ranging from Verdi to Infected Mushroom.

Ariel Bitran  |  Jul 12, 2012  |  2 comments
On Monday, July 2, 2012, Beats Electronic LLC, the company most popular for their bass-bumping and market-dominating Beats™ by Dr. Dre™ headphones, announced their acquisition of on-demand music service MOG, a music streaming service that offers users access to over 16 million songs via wired or wireless connection.

MOG users can access their vast library of music and user-created playlists through an internet browser-based website platform, connection to a streaming device on a home network like the Logitech Squeezebox Touch, or by streaming to a mobile device. Speaking of mobile devices, guess who else is in cahoots with Beats? In August 2011, Taiwanese mobile device manufacturer HTC acquired a 51% stake in Beats, a purchase equal to about $300 million dollars. This partnership allowed for HTC to integrate Beats Sound Systems into their phones.

Ariel Bitran  |  Apr 17, 2013  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  2 comments
Sennheiser had the largest presence at the constantly buzzing Headzone section at this year's New York Audio Show.
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.