Visible Cloaks are heavily influenced by a group of Japanese musicians working in what we could call the long 80's - roughly from the mid- to late 1970s through to the dawn of the 90's. Many of those artists have since crossed over to some extent, or at least taken their art off into new and uncharted waters.

One of their lynchpins, Ryuichi Sakamoto, has turned his hand to a dozen or so different genres over the last forty years including Oscar-laden movies (The Last Emperor; The Revenant). Yasuaki Shimizu's Music for Commercials and his adopted band Mariah's Utakata No Hibi are both important touchstones for this collective mish-mash of electronica, classical and traditional Japanese music - sometimes thrown in under the confusing neologism of Fourth World music. Music without borders. Reviewing stuff like this tends to call for a certain amount of reading around.

Visible Cloaks draw on these rich influences to produce something undeniably forward-looking. The drawling, elongated way with melody and cadence that Oneohtrix Point Never also favours inflects tracks like 'Frame' with a sense of longing and nostalgia. The record represents a shorter sermon than their second, also recently released album Reassemblage; it’s almost a prolonged coda.

The shifting and idea-heavy form makes it pretty pointless to pick out and comment on an individual track. There is a commonality to everything Visible Cloaks do which draws together different compositions regardless of their pace or flavour. The jittery syncopation of 'Keys' rests alongside the album's eponymous, BBC Radiophonic Workshop-recalling successor. Unlike Oneohtrix or Prefuse 73, this isn't a Futureshock-style flick through clashing vistas. There's nothing nightmarish to Visible Cloaks' visions. Everything is enlightened by the sense of hope and wonder that we might imagine infused Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono's work during the boom period of Japan in the 1980's - a decade in which the country challenged the US for economic and technological hegemony. It is music full of wonder, and fully at peace with itself.

Coming at this style of music out of Oregon, Visible Cloaks don't just riff on established norms. Modern ambient composition and the work of Asa Chang and Junray are as important in terms of the landscape of Lex (and Reassemblage). The Portland label Dropping Gems plays host to a whole bunch of spiritually familiar artists (check out their Gem Drops compilations to experience a swathe of brilliant experimentalism). The group are very much one among many - suggesting that the Fourth World tag carries more weight than I've formerly been prepared to allow.

Lex is well-mannered, fun experimentalism with a winning spirit. If it doesn't break any tonal boundaries, it firmly establishes its composers' place at least in sight of the bleeding edge. And it opens the door to all manner of discoveries.