Spencer Doran and Ryan Carlile are the duo behind Visible Cloaks. The Portland (Oregon) musicians collaborate to make experimental and dynamic sounds that take influence from Japanese pop and ambient music. Visible Cloaks are performing in the Main Hall of former vet school Summerhall, in a show that is being presented by promoters Braw Gigs and Nothing Ever Happens Here.
Support comes from local act NOL. They use synthesisers and a variety of technology to build energetic soundscapes. Their set is a progressive one that rises to a loud and ferocious conclusion where beeps, blips and jittery rhythms create a bombastic anxiety which is enthralling to experience.
Visible Cloaks take to the stage and the duo sit in front of their equipment and immediately begin to create ambient, subversive music. The pair perform in front of a large screen, on which motion graphics, CG landscapes and computer models are projected. These objects move and rotate to create a surreal and dreamlike world to accompany the music. The objects have bright and colourful textures that repeat over and over and mimic the style and structure of the sounds that are being presented on the stage. These visuals draw the attention and give a visceral and tangible feel to the soundscapes. Brenna Murphy is the visual artist responsible for the visual style. She has a background in installation art and digital imagery and the show itself has the quality of a sound installation or audio/visual art piece and perhaps could have been more suited to an art gallery setting.
Earlier this year, Visible Cloaks released the album Reassemblage on RVNG records. The album featured a collaboration with Japanese singer Miyako Koda and stood out for its abstract and minimalist approach to composition. The album is explored during tonight’s concert and is a fantastic blend of Japanese sounds and electro-pop minimalism. Visible Cloaks are not on the stage for a long time; however, they do showcase what can be achieved when a variety of influences are drawn together to create exciting, abstract music.