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"A Goal is an Image" is City's debut LP for Rabit's Halcyon Veil, providing an elusive yet tangibly bittersweet testament to the Vancouver artist's hybrid of the emotional intensity of experimental metal and the timbres of weightless electronics.
Further to his Arcadia mix for Halcyon Veil (2016), City -- real name Will Ballantyne -- distills that release's ideas into 11 naturally tempestuous takes on the digital zeitgeist, ripping away its hi-fi sheen to reveal a reactive ecology of overgrown, semi-organic textures and pranging rhythms wrapped up in chaotic harmony.
Musically, the album spans a diverse range of sonics; from the elegant, loopy harpsichord of ‘Your Stream’ to the distorted groan and double-kick of ‘Pain/Power.’ Elsewhere, an indiscernible voice lurks throughout ‘Inevitable,’ darting in and out of its jet-engine pads and hazy synth lines, while ‘SAR’ takes a sample-pack melody and weaves it into a lattice of field recordings and blooming distortion. The album closes with 'Immaculate', a propulsive and brutal take on trance. All 11 tracks on "A Goal is an Image" are united by an interest bordering on obsession with upwards motion -- the music here is rigidly structured, imitating the path of a plane hurtling down the runway towards takeoff.
The artwork features a photograph taken in a remote location on Canada’s Pacific coast and was designed by Lane Stewart and Collin Fletcher.
As Halcyon Veil's first full-length feature album, "A Goal is an Image" arguably epitomizes the label's aesthetic -- unflinchingly upfront and uncannily emotive -- and gives voice to a true outsider spirit that will be recognized by anyone of a similar disposition.