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.


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

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