The Blow - Volume 4
Split Album: Side A - Jodie Lowther / Side B: A.R.C Soundtracks
Digital download & Cassette
Label: Front & Follow
Available to download at Bandcamp:
About 'The Blow - volume 4'
In 2016, Front & Follow very kindly asked me to be a part of their ongoing tape series ‘The Blow’ in which two
artists take up residence on a side of tape each, collaboration also being encouraged between the
two in any way they see fit, there are absolutely no rules. The tape features myself and A.R.C
I started working on the songs that make up my side of this cassette in late 2016.
I am inspired very much by the seasons, and I feel that this collection of songs although started in the Autumn,
actually became very much a ‘Spring’ themed collection to me.
There is a sense of nature, landscape and far-away worlds within these songs, although the nature is
eerie, claustrophobic and constructed.
Some specific examples are:
‘The Dream of the Melting Plane’ which conjured up to me a lysergic psychic cornfield, the place
where The Empress of the tarot might reside. Warm and gloopy with layered harp samples and far
away siren-like vocals.
‘The Trees’ which was born from the idea of a mechanical forest, with vocals/synths
and distorted samples of chirping birds.
“Delirium Sea” which is chant-like and quite metallic, lots of chopped vocals and percussion which
also sounds to me almost like an industrialised sea shanty.
In regards to process, I layered and manipulated sounds almost patchwork over time until I felt the
tracks said everything I needed them to say. This was sometimes initiated by a vocal recording, or
sometimes by an instrumental or sample recording. I feel that working on tracks is an intuitive
process and sometimes an effect or manipulation of one sound within the composition sparks a lot
of new ideas about the atmosphere that is being created, and the song develops and becomes
something very different. The tracks just keep growing and developing in this way.
I collaborated with A.R.C Soundtracks on the final track ‘The Occasional Sleeper’, which was
comprised of separate ambient soundscapes/textures sent to me by A.R.C, which then I layered and
manipulated, and added my vocals and some instrumentation. I felt when working on this track that
it all made me think of a sort of gothic horror ambience, like tip-toeing around a sleeping machine in
a castle that occasionally opens an eye and stares. I sent A.R.C some solo treated vocals of mine for
use on their own side.
Reviews of 'The Blow - volume 4'
"The first side of this record is brought to you by multi-talented musician and artist Jodie Lowther. The music she crafts here in the opening track is cool, dark, and full of esoteric tones and eerie reverbed vocals that haunt the distance. Soft synths create a sense of space and brings to the mind the image of a cold cemetery in the snow, in the twilit shadow of an ancient stone church..." (Read more)
"The first solo track from Jodie Lowther welds this Lynchian sway, a cipher dance replete with a Julee Cruise-like little girl lost, the next macabrely marbling to reverbed stilettos of shadowy piano that has you half expecting Diamanda Galás to burst forth with demented gusto..." (Read more)
"The likes of "Spiral Ascending" and "Cornered" invite the listener to imagine perhaps not so much a spacious body of water but the feeling of being on a ship threatening to sink. Lowther communicates this enclosed watery environment via swampy reverb, which makes the instrumentation on "Sea Fret", for example, sound distant or muddied, like the experience of attempting to process sound underwater, mimicking a suffocating experience which ends at an abrupt point..." (Read more)
"Lowther's tracks are invariably melodic yet unsettling, with the haunting 'Tourmaline' like a fragmented refrain looping inside an abandoned building..." (Read more)
"Lowther's 12-track side explores the process of layering and manipulating sounds like an audio patchwork, a technique she began on precursor albums such as 2016's Circle and Holes and 2017's Skeleton Moon. For The Blow, Lowther was particularly influenced by natural landscapes and far-away worlds, and collaborates with A.R.C Soundtracks on the final track of her side..." (Read more)
"Jodie continues her exploration of cavernous sounds, her otherworldly wordless vocals, and delicate electronic sounds to produce dark, eerie, and sometimes sinister soundscapes. Each piece conjures a different image, with most being listening experiences as time stands still. The joint track, “The Occasional Sleeper,” is a mysterious trance-inducing insturmental with heavily processed, unidentifiable sound sources and a slow pulsating sonic beat..." (Read more)