A removal to elsewhere
by Christos Polydorou
(NB Ekstasis is the Ancient Greek word that means expanse, for example the expanse of the universe is endless my love, and ecstasy, for example I am in ecstasy when I am with my love, ἔκστασις, “to be or stand outside oneself, a removal to elsewhere”)
Imagine a painter sitting down to paint. Everything is ready. The room, the lights, the paints, the brushes, the brush rag, the jars of water, the stool, the easel, the canvas, the vision. Imagine that artist sitting down to paint but instead she paints music, and you begin to understand the vertiginous level of artistry undertaken by Julia Holter whenever she sits down to provide empirical evidence of her brilliance. I cannot think of any other recording artist working like she does, so prolifically, with such classical restraint of her own modernity, and impeccable coherence, and immediate accessibility, that I am truly gob-smacked and silenced into pure listening force whenever I play her. She is probably the most authentic artist working not just in LA (of all places), but in the world right now. Ekstasis, her album from 2012, is a sublime, unparalleled, cinematic, out there work of art, that will leave you breathless. There is not a plastic moment that falls fakely across this multi-instrumental masterpiece that rises and drops with a near religious intensity that is almost always, to my ear, aquatic, or ethereal, yet robust, at turns too unbearably beautiful with respect to anything that I am used to. I would open-heartedly recommend Ekstasis as a vision of an artist coming to grips with her own genius, with her own work, and art, as a tradition, that has to keep expanding, ecstatically. She is singing to you so softly. Trust her.
I sincerely feel like I should next provide you with a hot towel like they do in Japanese restaurants when you sit down to have some sashimi.