“Unflinchingly upfront and uncannily emotive — City gives voice to a true outsider spirit” - Boomkat
City is the alias of Will Ballantyne, a musician, composer, and artist from Vancouver, B.C. His music is described as “furious with texture, but guided by an inner slowness” by The Wire, and “epic, soaring electronica” by Resident Advisor. He is a member of the label/collective Halcyon Veil, and co-runs the s.M.i.L.e. event series in Vancouver. His debut album A Goal is an Image
was released in September, 2017, followed by an EP entitled Skeleton
in March, 2018. His work has been covered in AQNB, Bandcamp Daily, Mixmag, Resident Advisor, Red Bull Radio, VICE, The Wire, and more. City is active both as a performer and a collaborator, and has toured his live set nationally and internationally, including commissioned special performances at galleries like Tai Kwun Contemporary in Hong Kong, and at the abandoned West Coast Printing factory in Seattle for Corridor Festival.
A classically-trained musician and lifelong electric guitarist, City’s music is a combination of warped guitars and propulsive, industrial rhythms; heartfelt narrative melodies and heavily processed iPhone field recordings; heavy metal double kicks and ghostly choirs; ripping sawtooth arpeggiators and sub-bass. His live shows are dynamic spectacles, wreathed in smoke and strobe lights, that test every available frequency of the sound system. His music often invites comparison to the extremity of instrumental black metal or emotive trance progressions, and has been called “staggeringly intense … a living, breathing ecosystem of textural sound” (SBVRSV).
In the past two years, City’s performance schedule has increased substantially, with tours of Europe, North America, and Asia. His practice has expanded to include collaborations with artists such as Joey Holder, for her latest film “Adcredo: The Deep Belief Network,” and Rick Farin, for the soundtrack for a promotional film for Chinese fashion designer Xander Zhou. He has delivered guest lectures on sound design, artistic practice, and composition at London South Bank University and Goldsmiths University of London. His next release will be a collaborative record written with Victoria-based experimental drummer i.o on New York label PTP in summer 2019.