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Úvodní stránka » RECORDS » Julia Holter — Ekstasis
Julia Holter — Ekstasis (2012)

Julia Holter — Ekstasis (2012)

•   Ekstasis’ is a record you never hear the same way twice.” / Julia Holter — Ekstasis

Album release: March 8, 2012
Name: Julia Shammas Holter
Origin: Los Angeles, California, USA
Labels: Leaving Records, RVNG Intl.
Website: http://www.juliashammasholter.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/juliaholter
Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/juliaholter
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/JULIA_HOLTER
Tracklist:
1.) Marienbad   5:25
2.) Our Sorrows   6:16
3.) In The Same Room   3:58
4.) Boy In The Moon   8:20
5.) Für Felix   4:11
6.) Goddess Eyes II   6:23
7.) Moni Mon Amie   3:31
8.) Four Gardens   6:13
9.) Goddess Eyes I   3:40            10.) This Is Ekstasis   8:55
“Ekstasis” could be the most lucid dream of the year. Julia Holter's new album combines ambient, folk, psychedelia, medieval music, dream-pop and jazz in a surreal atmosphere. // Record Label:
RVNG IntlJULIA HOLTER

By Mark Richardson; March 2, 2012  // — Pitchfork 8.6/10
¦  "I hear a lot of music that's just lazy — you know, people in their bedrooms singing some shit into the microphone." That's California singer and songwriter Julia Holter, talking to Pitchfork recently. This passage from the interview leapt out at me because it gets at what makes her second full-length album special. Like a lot of home-recorded music in the indie sphere in the last few years, Ekstasis makes heavy use of atmosphere. There's plenty of reverb and vocal tracks are braided together into drones; it's the kind of swirly production that's good for hiding mistakes. But nothing Holter does feels random. This album is above all careful, and its deliberate construction allows it to work on a different plane from most music that scans as "ethereal." Ekstasis is not the sort of oceanic wash you lose yourself in; instead, Holter's music has a way of snapping tiny moments and small sonic gestures into focus. Ekstasis is above all smart, and it makes no apologies for it.

by wonderwheel    JULIA HOLTER
¦  Holter's work exists at the intersection between pop and "serious" music. The mayor of that particular corner is Laurie Anderson, and there are obvious parallels between the two. You can hear Anderson in Holter's flat, chant-like inflection, which allows her music and lyrics to do the emotional work. You can also hear it in her love of simplicity and approach to mixing traditional instrumentation and electronics. Another touchstone is the dark magic of Klaus Nomi. It's not just that the tracks like "Fur Felix" bear a similarity to Nomi tracks like "Keys of Life", there's also an undercurrent of ritualism and theatricality in Holter's music. Ekstasis is certainly mysterious, but not because meaning is hard to pin down; it's more that there are so many possible meanings, so many places to focus your attention.
¦  Listening to Ekstasis, I keep thinking about how it differs from music that feels superficially similar. The music of Julianna Barwick, for example, has liturgical overtones, bringing to mind stone and glass and voices rising in cathedrals. Barwick wants to tap into something beyond words. But Holter's music sounds like it was assembled in a dusty library a floor or two below the sanctuary. It's a few shades darker, but it's also based on ideas first and intuition second. Despite using vocoders, drum machines, and electronics, it feels "old" in part because Holter so deliberately connects her music to the distant past. On her debut album, she did so by basing her songs on a play from ancient Greece by Euripides; here, she pulls words and scenarios from literature and mixes them with her own idiosyncratic approach to words. The songs include quotes from the likes of Virginia Woolf and Frank O'Hara. A line from O'Hara's poem "Having a Coke With You" — "I look at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world" — animates "Moni Mon Ami", nestled amid the twinkling synths, strings, and keyboards that sound like harpsichord are original lines like "Hours become years when you're gone!"
¦  Where Holter's Tragedy felt more like a tapestry, with vocal tracks mixed in with instrumental bits and interludes, Ekstasis leans toward proper songs, and it palette is more uniform. "In the Same Room", despite its chintzy drum machine and mechanized hand-claps, is actually a drama unfolding in close quarters. "In this very room, we spent the day and looked over antiquities. Don't you remember?" to which the other character replies, "Do I know you? I can't recall this face but I want to." You see it play out on paper on the lyric sheet and it feels like a linear exchange, but Holter twists the voices together and the narrative folds in on itself. It's there as pure, gorgeous sound if you want it — you don't need to know what the songs are about to immerse yourself in this record — but the deeper you go, the more the songs open up.
¦  "I can see you but my eyes are not allowed to cry..." is a lyric from "Goddess Eyes", a new version of a song that appeared on Tragedy. It's a line from the Euripides play that inspired her first album, and it's delivered in processed voice reminiscent of a vocoder. So we have a 2,000-year old phrase run through a device that makes a human sound like a 1970s version of the robots of the future. And at the center of all this time travel stands Julia Holter, pulling in references and sounds from everywhere and shaping them into a music that's both haunting and life-affirming, something to make you dream and think.

Julia Holter
¦  Like a lot of home-recorded music in the indie sphere in the last few years, Ekstasis makes heavy use of atmosphere. There’s plenty of reverb and vocal tracks are braided together into drones; it’s the kind of swirly production that’s good for hiding mistakes. ¦  But nothing Julia Holter does feels random. This album is above all careful, and its deliberate construction allows it to work on a different plane from most music that scans as “ethereal.” Ekstasis is not the sort of oceanic wash you lose yourself in; instead, Holter’s music has a way of snapping tiny moments and small sonic gestures into focus. Ekstasis is above all smart, and it makes no apologies for it. Holter’s work exists at the intersection between pop and “serious” music.
-------------------------------------------------------------------Julia Holter                                                             Photo: Rick Bahto
¦  The mayor of that particular corner is Laurie Anderson, and there are obvious parallels between the two. You can hear Anderson in Holter’s flat, chant-like inflection, which allows her music and lyrics to do the emotional work. You can also hear it in her love of simplicity and approach to mixing traditional instrumentation and electronics. Another touchstone is the dark magic of Klaus Nomi. It’s not just that the tracks like “Fur Felix” bear a similarity to Nomi tracks like “Keys of Life”, there’s also an undercurrent of ritualism and theatricality in Holter’s music. Ekstasis is certainly mysterious, but not because meaning is hard to pin down; it’s more that there are so many possible meanings, so many places to focus your attention.
¦  Listening to Ekstasis, I keep thinking about how it differs from music that feels superficially similar. The music of Julianna Barwick, for example, has liturgical overtones, bringing to mind stone and glass and voices rising in cathedrals. Barwick wants to tap into something beyond words. But Holter’s music sounds like it was assembled in a dusty library a floor or two below the sanctuary. It’s a few shades darker, but it’s also based on ideas first and intuition second. Despite using vocoders, drum machines, and electronics, it feels “old” in part because Holter so deliberately connects her music to the distant past. On her debut album, she did so by basing her songs on a play from ancient Greece by Euripides; here, she pulls words and scenarios from literature and mixes them with her own idiosyncratic approach to words. The songs include quotes from the likes of Virginia Woolf and Frank O’Hara. A line from O’Hara’s poem “Having a Coke With You”  —  “I look at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world”  —  animates  “Moni Mon Ami”, nestled amid the twinkling synths, strings, and keyboards that sound like harpsichord are original lines like “Hours become years when you’re gone!”
¦  Where Holter’s Tragedy felt more like a tapestry, with vocal tracks mixed in with instrumental bits and interludes, Ekstasis leans toward proper songs, and it palette is more uniform. “In the Same Room”, despite its chintzy drum machine and mechanized hand-claps, is actually a drama unfolding in close quarters. “In this very room, we spent the day and looked over antiquities. Don’t you remember?” to which the other character replies, “Do I know you? I can’t recall this face but I want to.” You see it play out on paper on the lyric sheet and it feels like a linear exchange, but Holter twists the voices together and the narrative folds in on itself. It’s there as pure, gorgeous sound if you want it   —  you don’t need to know what the songs are about to immerse yourself in this record   —  but the deeper you go, the more the songs open up.
¦  “I can see you but my eyes are not allowed to cry…” is a lyric from “Goddess Eyes”, a new version of a song that appeared on Tragedy. It’s a line from the Euripides play that inspired her first album, and it’s delivered in processed voice reminiscent of a vocoder. So we have a 2,000-year old phrase run through a device that makes a human sound like a 1970s version of the robots of the future. And at the center of all this time travel stands Julia Holter, pulling in references and sounds from everywhere and shaping them into a music that’s both haunting and life-affirming, something to make you dream and think. photos by Andrew Cholakian / Orange Aperture Photography    JULIA HOLTER Photo by Andrew Cholakian / Orange Aperture /                                                             Review: New album features a more peppy, accessible sound
Pillbox | Anna Walsh
¦  When Julia Holter released her album Tragedy last year, it quickly received plenty of critical acclaim: National Public Radio named it one of the top 10 “outer sound” albums of 2011 while FACT magazine ranked it at No. 13 on its list of best albums of the year. The album, which centers around Euripides’ play Hippolytus, combines psychedelic soundscapes with Holter’s echoing vocals and a multitude of musical influences to create a swirling, brooding atmosphere befitting the Greek tragedy. Her new album, Ekstasis, keeps the groovy sounds but abandons   Tragedy ’s moodiness in favor of a peppy, more accessible sound.
¦  However, the differences between Ekstasis and Tragedy are evident from the opening notes. While Tragedy began with hazy, atmospheric ambience, Ekstasis begins with what sounds like a pop version of Baroque chamber music. The differences only continue from there. The rich soundscapes are still there, but instead of ominous foghorns and clanging, they’re accompanied by peppy synthesizers and upbeat percussion.
¦  These differences don’t make Ekstasis less musically interesting. The album still has a dreamy haziness about it, as though you’re listening to it echo through a cloud of smoke. Instead of the ominous vibe emanating throughout Tragedy, Ekstasis has a calmly contented feel.
¦  Holter still weaves a fascinating blend of musical influences into her soundscapes — Ekstasis has everything from a Baroque harpsichord to an ’80s-inspired synth to eastern-influenced ambient sounds. Embedded in all these musical layers is Holter’s voice, which ranges from an operatic style to a bouncy pop sound to a whispered spoken word. In less skilled hands, this huge range of sounds could quickly devolve into chaos, but Holter pulls everything together skillfully to create a musical atmosphere that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
¦  This musical atmosphere allows Ekstasis to succeed where Tragedy sometimes fell short. Tragedy is so focused on pulling in as many threads of sound as possible, and so intent on fitting the theme of Hippolytus, that it often feels overly intellectual. With the previous album, the listener can appreciate the mastery that Holter is showing in her music, but this sometimes makes it difficult to get lost in the brooding atmosphere Holter is trying to create.
¦  In Ekstasis, though, Holter seems to be less pressured to prove her talents, and instead focuses on creating a lovely atmosphere that allows you to step outside yourself and into Ekstasis’ rich musical world. 

Also: By: Dani Relats | Rating: 9.1 |
http://www.playgroundmag.net/music/music-reviews/albums/ekstasis  // Also: By: Ian Cohen | February 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
http://read.mtvhive.com/2012/02/29/julia-holter-ekstasis/ photo by wonder wheel    JULIA HOLTER                                                                                                         By wonder wheel

JULIA HOLTERJULIA HOLTERJULIA HOLTERdublab jason julia. photo by frosty (dublab.com)    JULIA HOLTER                                                                      © With Jason on Dublab / Photo by Frosty

JULIA HOLTER

Julia Holter — Ekstasis (2012)

 

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