Review: Maarten van der Vleuten - High Intolerance Towards Low Energies (2008)


artist: Maarten van der Vleu­ten
release: High Intol­er­ance Towards Low Ener­gies
format: LP
year of release: 2008
label: tone­float
dur­a­tion: 37:14

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Maarten van der Vleu­ten has had been a pro­du­cer and DJ of elec­tronic and dance music for many years, and under vari­ous names, alto­gether mak­ing for an impress­ive CV span­ning over twenty years of activ­ity. He now records exclus­ively under his own name, and this LP on tone­float is one of his latest works, full of inspir­ing and evoc­at­ive dron­ing ambi­ent.

Tons of records in the area of drone and dark ambi­ent get pro­duced each year, and I often find it dif­fi­cult to pick out the ones which are truly inter­est­ing. High Tol­er­ance Towards Low Ener­gies is pleas­ant excep­tion though, one of those records that shows a true master’s touch already on the first listen, but which con­tin­ues to amaze me after many more ses­sions. The music on this album is very layered, using a pleth­ora of dif­fer­ent sounds - melod­ies, drones, per­cus­sion, samples - at all times, but everything is woven together so deftly that it never becomes over­crowded. Instead, it ensures that the album stays inter­est­ing and keeps a con­tinu­ous flow.

The album has a spir­itual atmo­sphere, util­ising pho­to­graphy from the Regina Coeli (‘Queen of Heaven’) church in Vught, also accen­ted by vocal samples which lend a multi-ethnic reli­gious tim­bre to many of the parts. All this makes expli­cit what is one of the true strengths of ambi­ent music: the cre­ation of mys­tical and spir­itual sounds through unortho­dox musical means.

In this respect, this album is prac­tic­ally per­fect. It seems almost too mundane to men­tion at this point, but the gate­fold cover and heavy vinyl make the present­a­tion of this release equally appeal­ing. In short, there’s no excuse for not own­ing this record if you love obscure and mys­tical drone and ambi­ent music. Except maybe if you read this too late, and all the 500 cop­ies are sold out, but that’s luck­ily not the case at the time of writ­ing.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

A1. Gen­ade Oord (8:22)
A2. Regina Coeli (9:34)

B1. Rituale Romanum (12:25)
B2. Limbus Infan­t­ium (6:53)