Portland, Oregon ambient duo Visible Cloaks began as the solo project of Spencer Doran. He first came to prominence in 2010 with his mix series Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo, on which he dug deep into cult, rare-groove Japanese ambient and new age from the '80s.
Under the names Cloaks and Neon Cloaks, he released a number of albums in Japan only, heavily influenced by that style, before changing the name to avoid confusion with another outfit. Later he was joined by Ryan Carlile, whom he met while running an all-ages club night (Carlile was a high-school senior at the time). In 2014, the first Visible Cloaks release appeared, a self-titled EP on cassette label Sun Ark
; the following year it was reissued on vinyl by Musique Plastique
. The duo's soothing, otherworldly music created a significant buzz, and they were subsequently signed by RVNG Intl.
, which released their debut full-length album, Reassemblage, early in 2017. The album combined Doran's Japanese influences with a fairly academic, experimental computer music approach taking in MIDI and generative processes, and featured a collaboration with cult Japanese pop duo Dip in the Pool
. The mini-album Lex appeared later in the year. ~ John D. Buchanan, Rovi