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Spirit Volume

by City & i.o

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    **Includes free PDF of 'The End Of Policing' by Alex S Vitale**
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


  • Cassette
    Cassette + Digital Album

    Remastered & pro-duplicated to black cassette housed in hand-stamped recycled organic cotton satchel and O-Card featuring artwork/design by Collin Fletcher.

    **Limited Edition of 100**
    **Includes digital download**

    Includes unlimited streaming of Spirit Volume via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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Faith 02:39
Fatal flower 04:19
Bitter 03:08
Churchlight 03:24
Markerlight 06:07


"(W)hat really turned the carnage-ravaged results into a “mission accomplished” was just how sober, thoughtful, and downright meticulous the duo’s stratagems were. The album’s “cinematic slabs of fight-scene tech-noir” were dropped from above in a merciful ebb-and-flow pattern and felt more loving than terrifying, more cerebral than anxious, resulting in nine beautiful firebombs. Do NOT try this at home."
- Tiny Mix Tapes: 2019: 2nd Quarter Favorites, July 5, 2019. Web.
"“Fatal Flower,” one of the calmer additions, fuses a hypnotizing whiplash that sounds like a broken piece of machinery spinning around. The harsh rotation grows louder until it sputters off and melancholic drones take over again, but they’re peaceful. As waves of static wash over a voice asks, “What happened in your dreams?” At least, that’s what I think is being asked. It’s too subdued to know for sure, kind of like an actual dream. There’s no telling what turns this track will take next, which is why it’s one of my favorites from the album. As soon as there’s a continuous motion, all sounds crumple together and fly off into some abyss."
- Magnetic Mag: 15 Best Ambient...June 2019, July 10, 2019. Web.
"City & i.o compose contortionist titles with deviant beauty, lacerating space even in its quietest moments, through omnipresence threatening, granular sounds to electro-organic density. The general atmosphere suggests between its layers, a sickly world, concealing among its layers, a rough delicacy that requires a little patience before perceiving all its splendor. Superb." (translated)
- SilenceAndSound: Review, June 16, 2019. Web.
"(T)he pair’s signature sounds rarely surface in recognizable forms. Instead, this particular fusion dance results in ominous sludge resembling the carbon left behind in a tin of burnt sugar. Chunky pulses of bass slowly pull listeners through hovering drones and slap-chopped drums. Seatbelted into the wubs, there’s nowhere to go but up, in perpetuity — coaster tracks clacking, no hillcrest in sight. ... The two work so well as a unit that _Spirit Volume_ is, above all, a case to study each artist’s back catalogue in order to pick out their individual contributions. For an album recorded long-distance, it’s brimming with intimacy."
- Tiny Mix Tapes: Review, June 10, 2019. Web.
"Composed over an extended period, _Spirit Volume_ is naturally patient, an album that reveals more of itself with repeated listens. It’s a meticulous and careful collection—trying to uncover the ins and outs of each composition is a joy. But with so much going on in each song, it’s hard to imagine figuring out its secrets any time soon."
- Bandcamp Daily: Album of the Day, June 5, 2019. Web.
"The white noise that grates the speakers early on ebbs away until it's just an acoustic patina, a tint in the air like vinyl crackle"
- The Wire #425, July 2019. Print.
“Volume's in the title, but this cross-Canada duo seems less concerned with the loudness connotation of that word than the measurement. This is music that takes up space, that has physical presence. You might expect as much if you're familiar with the work of the players here—City makes crushing sound explorations, i.o is a elastic-limbed drummer, and both are focused on creating music that overwhelms you. That manifests in many forms, whether in moments of harrowing intensity, like in the jabbing noise that scours "Faith," or in the more placid passages like "Churchlight." Whether furious or peaceful, the music they've constructed feels massive, like it's going to swallow you whole. You'd be best advised to give yourself over to it.”
- Noisey: Stream of the Crop, June 7, 2019. Web.
"Moments of chaos are often necessary for the appreciation of the ensuing quiet and calm…you might say one cannot exist without the other. Such is exemplified, and toyed with, hard, in Spirit Volume, the forthcoming, long-distance collaborative album between Victoria, B.C. multidisciplinary artist i.o. and Vancouver-based guitarist/producer, City. A glimpse at their first single, and album opener, “Anxiety Object,” is immediately telling of the project’s dynamic personality, with textural ambience giving way to crescendoing foreboding, which gives way to onslaught after onslaught of near-overwhelming percussive berating. Somewhere between free jazz and metal, the drums are absolutely mind-numbing. A faulted, glitching version of the previous serenity returns. It’s choppy and non-functional, as one might think a sentient robot’s consciousness would be after being thrown off a mountainside during an avalanche. The tumbling death settles, the powder on top of it all, seeping into the cracks of strewn ice-rock. “Where am I? Am I dead? Was I ever living?”

There are signs of the track’s duality, as little hiccups of phase-shifting interrupt the increasingly dubious peace that breaks up the grotesque and the hyper-violent. The betrayed automaton is losing its mind, as everything seems to happen in slow-motion and all sped up, simultaneously. It’s a maddening duality, but it’s grounding in the eventual, true quiet of the track’s end. And then you’re to relive it on the next track, and the seven after that, as though to relive your death every night, like Christopher’s purgatorial Irish Pub in The Sopranos. Damn."
- Ears To Feed: New Music, , 2019. Web.

The debut collaborative album by City & i.o out June 7, 2019 on PTP cassette and digital editions.

Composed long-distance over several years, '​Spirit Volume'​ finds the musicians combining City’s industrial brutality with i.o’s frenetic, highly technical drumming. Curiously, the meeting of the two results in moments of serenity and calm that are few and far between in both of their solo oeuvres. “Faith,” a rework of a similarly-named piece that appeared on City’s debut Halcyon Veil LP, is the high water mark in terms of intensity, while “Markerlight” is an almost Bohren-esque night drive through i.o’s expansive and gorgeous guitar playing. “YS” features plaintive synth work from fellow Vancouver producer ​x/o​.

City is the alias of guitarist and producer Will Ballantyne, based in Vancouver. City has released records on Halcyon Veil and Ascetic House, and toured extensively throughout Asia, Europe, and North America.

i.o is a band consisting of Maxwell Patterson; drummer, guitarist, producer, and visual artist. Maxwell lives and works in Victoria, BC.

1. Anxiety object
2. Faith
3. Fatal flower
4. Bitter
5. Churchlight
6. Markerlight
7. Mirage silent
8. YS (with x/o)
9. Forever an image


released June 7, 2019

Written and produced by City & i.o
Drums and guitar on all tracks by i.o
Synths on YS by x/o

Mastered by Aaron Wharton
Artwork by Loic Le Hécho
Designed by Collin Fletcher


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