Visible Cloaks is an experimental electronic duo based out of Portland, Oregon. For a new, two-track release on New York label RVNG Intl., they teamed up with Japanese pop duo dip in the pool. The first, "Valve," takes spoken word elements from dip in the pool's Miyako Koda and translates it into a synthetic MIDI xylophone melody. Its reprise, "Valve (Revisited)," backdrops that chord progression with entrancing new vocals from Koda and pensive synths from dip in the pool's other half, Tatsuji Kimura.
The pair of tracks are accompanied by a virtual interactive environment by visual artist Brenna Murphy. It's available for download on Visible Cloaks's website, and creates an ever-shifting abstract climate of blurred shapes and colors — some of which can be previewed in the video above.
Visible Cloaks's Spencer Doran described to The FADER over email how the collaboration came about:
For years I've admired the abstracted elegance and sound design of Tatsuiji and Miyako's music, but more recently I was experimenting with turning phonemes from human speech into melodic audio fragments, and was working with a sample of Miyako's voice which had this beautiful calm pace. [RVNG Intl.'s] Matt — always the master of inter-generational connection — presented the opportunity to have Tatsuiji and Miyako rework the piece (which I never would have dreamed would happen) and we wound up working on it together, sending the session back and forth over the internet.
Tatsuji Kimura of dip in the pool described to The FADER how the songs developed:
The experimental essence for “Valve” evokes a strange atmosphere. When I was approached by Visible Cloaks to reinterpret the piece, I thought to maintain this atmosphere, even if transformed by vocals. I focused on editing the original tracks, in place of adding new tracks. Spencer and I eventually added a few tracks in the end, but the song was basically rebuilt in the edit. For example, changing the song form and replacing different phrases and chords (sometimes only one note) one-by-one on each and every track. It took a lot of time, but it was really fun because I liked the music I was working with. Miyako did such a great job with the vocals and lyrics. It’s a short and unusual vocal approach, but beautiful and holy.