Now, it probably goes without saying that solo acoustic vibraphonists performing neo-classical ambience tend to be pretty niche artists. So why is it that Berlin-based Japanese prodigy Masayoshi Fujita, better known under his electronic alias el fog, can appeal to a wide swath of listeners, from the indie beard-strokers to post-rock grumblers? His ability to create elegant, deep soundscapes is fascinating, with only extremely minimal sounds and barely-there accompaniment managing to entertain, enthral and provoke thought. His new album – his first solo vibraphone record – Stories is released on Flau, a small Tokyo label with a penchant for tranquil sounds and paper-thin textures.

The record is a seamless journey through a sonic world that Fujita creates, soundtracking an unknown tale of calm, sincerity and even suspicion. There is a marked tension within the music, buried beneath the dulcet tones of his chosen instrument; while it's not obvious and omnipresent, there's a sliver of stress worming its way through, into your ears, that's never quite resolved. Maybe it's the hint of unsettled inner turmoil, or maybe there's a strand of sinister goings-on lurking in the shadows of his placid facade. Perhaps, this is reading into the music too much – but that's exactly what Stories elicits – the provocation of ideas and a seemingly serene world in which to nurture them. It's a thinking man's ambience. A muse.

It's not just for vibraphone enthusiasts though: it may be influenced by neo-classical music and jazz, but this isn't just for fans of those genres. It's got the climactic crescendos of post-rock, the delicacy and detail of electronica and the wondrous wistfulness of indie. There are elements fans of most genres can find solace in – but fans of brostep can pack their things and leave, as there's no wob-wob here.

There are luxurious moments of pure emotional pleasure, where melody reigns supreme and the timbre is its queen. 'River' is accompanied by strings, highlighting the tender poignancy of Fujita's dextrous perfomance. The cello (or possibly viola) leads the fray, with a vibraphone-helmed percussive backing, acting like minimalist Gamelan to ensure rhythm through pitched metal. Occasionally, violins puncture the whole torrid affair with high-pitched notes that sting like raindrops on ice. 'Story Of A Forest' is similarly textured, with strings taking up arms alongside the vibraphone. It's more hopeful, a heroic, triumphant cut – not overtly, but in the same way as a breath of fresh air after all the adventure and action has faded symbolises the new beginning, or indeed the awaited end.

Understandably, this won't be to everyone's taste. It's not got the pop pomp, or the thrill of rock. Things aren't obvious, or laid out for passers-by to glimpse – this is an album that requires your attention, but doesn't demand it, and it's one that you need to be immersed by to fully appreciate. Yes, it can serve as background music – perfectly pleasant background music at that – but Stories true colours won't be revealed until you duel it yourself, mano-a-mano. It might not sit well on everyone's palate, but those who persevere will be well rewarded.