High Intolerance Towards Low Energies

by Maarten van der Vleuten

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Reviewed by Bob Rusche (radio-dj/producer KinkFM/X-Rated) (Netherlands)

High Intolerance Towards Low Energies

You might know Dutchman Maarten van der Vleuten from his earlier work using a lot of different aliases like Integrity or Major Malfunction. For his more ambient work he was In-Existence, producing good albums like Moonwater or Vow Of Silence. Nowadays he is just Maarten van der Vleuten, and surprised everyone with his latest album "High Intolerance Towards Low Energies".

This is one mighty album with some very dark elements, mixed with voices from far far away. You get four long tracks, each with dark synths and drones, and these voices make up every track to be the perfect soundtrack when you are exploring graveyards or old monasterys. Track two is called Regina Coeli, inspired by the old monastery with the same name. When you read this you may think of a Cold Meat Industry release, but this record goes beyond most albums on this label. This comes straight from the galaxy with sparkling synth lines, but always gloomy.

This is a very exciting album only available on vinyl, pressed in a limited edition of 500 copies in a luxurious gatefold sleeve. So hurry up and get this album!

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Review taken from; Evening Of Light (by O.S.) (Netherlands)

High Intolerance towards Low Energies

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 Intolerance 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 layeres, 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.

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Review taken from; Sonic Curiosity (USA)

High Intolerance towards Low Energies

This release from 2008 features 38 minutes of abstract auralscapes.

Abstract soundscapes capture moods of our modern environment as viewed from a cosmic vantage.

A varied assortment of sounds are utilized in this recording, ranging from trembling bass frequencies to frenetic percussives to vocal samples of prayers, all spliced together to form a pastiche that leaves the listener edgily nervous yet strangely relaxed. The sounds are interwoven to generate a seething wall of sonics designed to evoke a compression of the world around us, presented amid eerie electronics that act as glue holding everything together.

Pulsations ooze through a miasma of assembled samples, masking the nature of individual pieces and creating a conglomerate that merges ambient and industrial sensibilities.

Snippets of muttered prayers and resonant singing serve to inject a human element into the music. Random rhythms surface throughout, lending a hint of tribal influence.

These compositions reside in a crevice between atonal and minimally harmonic. Sparse definition serves to enhance the individual elements, meshing them together into an auralscape of deviously deceptive distinction. While the aspects are tenuous, their union produces a vividly amorphous mood of sedation.

This album comes pressed onto 180gms of sturdy vinyl and in a gatefold sleeve.

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review taken from; TOKAFI online (by Tobias Fischer) (Germany)

High Intolerance towards Low Energies

A private escapist: Van der Vleuten is living artistic "realness".

It is not hard to see why he chose this record as his „coming-out“. With its myriads of layers and highly detailed production, „Intolerance“ sounds like the kind of work which was thought over and refined to perfection for years. On four tracks (two for each side of the Vinyl), van der Vleuten creates a dense web of tense musical lines held together by reoccuring themes and subtle transformations. Inspired by the contrast between the intense peace and sinister side of religion conveyed by former monastery „Regina Coeli“ and an outside world dominated by an endless influx of increasingly obtrusive input and information, mutated chants and threatening backwards sounds clash with microscopic crackles, percussion and sonorous synthetic choirs on top of a rhythmically undulating ground bass pad.

Breaks between pieces are fluent and hardly ever particularly incisive – one probably has to think of these tracks as constituting an interrelated suite. Rather delineating a mysteriously expanding and inflating state than a collection of individual tracks, the album appears to stand still in a moment of complete concentration, as though a thousand thoughts were flooding the brain within fractions of a second. Which is probably also why a lot of ideas and motives are closely and yet discreetly connected here: The generous use of delay, for example, seems to mirror the ornamental medieval vocal techniques of his samples.

Even though „High Intolerance towards Low Energies“ is a confounding and intensely physical experience for most of its duration, it comes to rest in closing finale „Limbus Infantium“, which soothes the gaping wounds with lyrical melodicism. It has made all the difference in the world in terms of public reception: „Intolerance“, with its hints at Dark Ambient, Noise, Electronica and Cinematic Soundscapes, has received a warm welcome in the most diverse publications. Maarten van der Vleuten will not have wasted too much time on their respective sales figures, however. Commercial viability, after all, is the last thing on his mind when composing.

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Review taken from; Fret / Muziek Centrum Nederland (by Ruud Lekx) (Netherlands)

High Intolerance Towards Low Energies

Bij tonefloat weten ze hoe ze de vinylkoper moeten verwennen: een prachtige klaphoes, geweldig artwork, 180 grams vinyl: zo hoort een plaat te zijn. maar het gaat natuurlijk om wat er op dat vinyl staat en ook in dacht opzicht wordt de luisteraar op zijn wenken bediend. tenminste, als die van duistere ambient houdt. want maarten van der vleuten levert zijn donkerste en intenste werk ooit af. de plaat is opgedragen aan het niet meer bestaande regina coeli klooster in vught en symboliseert de overkill aan geluid waarmee we dagelijks om de oren worden geslagen. een geslaagde tegenstelling. in de vier collages met een lengte van zo'n tien minuten gemiddeld komen soundscapes, percussie, gezangen, gebeden, stemmen en noise allemaal gefragmenteerd langs. zonder dat het een chaos wordt, want van der vleuten is een meesterverteller met geluid. perfecte muziek voor de donkere dagen na kerst.

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Review taken from; Gonzo Circus (Belgium)

High Intolerance Towards Low Energies

"Hoe valt te verklaren dat een muzikant die, verspreid over ruim twee decennia en onder meer dan 26 verschillende pseudoniemen, massa's releases op zijn conto heeft staan, toch nauwelijk (nog) een belletje doet rinkelen ? We hebben het hier over een Nederlander nota bene, niet één of andere obscure producer uit een godvergeten hut op de evenaar. Misschien doet het ambientalbum 'Moonwater' dat hij in 1993 onder de vlag In-Existence uitbracht op het R&S sublabel Apollo her en der nog wat stof opwaaien; alterego's als 48V. Phantom power, Flux, Major Malfunction, E144 of Cryptic zijn echter grotendeels in de vergeethoek beland, de liefhebber van dance uiteraard buiten beeld gehouden. Dansmuziek en meer bepaald (ambient) house, trance, progressive, acid, elektro, techno,... dat is de natuurlijk biosfeer van Maarten van der Vleuten. In dat milieu heeft hij een solide reputatie opgebouwd.

Op 'High Intolerance Towards Low Energies' is van al dat echter geen sprake. Dreigende soundscapes en drones (die gelukkig niet verglijden tot stereotiepe dark ambient), gestut door subtiele percussie, diepe bassequenties en rake, sfeerversterkende samples, maken hier de dienst uit. Dat is niet nieuw. En ook geen flauw reanimeren van In-Existence. Onder die naam is Van der Vleuten namelijk altijd muziek blijven maken. In 2005 verscheen zelfs al een eerste release op tonefloat, meer bepaald 'Vow of Silence' op de onderafdeling C Records. 'High Intolerance Towards Low Energies' onderstreept opnieuw de kwaliteiten van een man die in een rechtvaardige wereld al lang geen (her)introductie meer hoefde. Deze fraai verpakte elpee komt in een editie van 500 op 180 gram geperste exemplaren. Op is op!" Gonzo Circus

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Review taken from; Creative-Eclipse (Germany)

High Intolerance Towards Low Energies

Maarten Van Der Vleuten ist ein niederländischer Musiker und Produzent, der bisher unter 26 verschiedenen Künstlernamen Detroit Techno, Electro, House und eher Experimentelles und Ambient aufgenommen hat.
Van Der Vleuten, 1967 geboren, veröffentlicht mit der "High Intolerance Towards Low Energies" LP sein erstes Album unter seinem Geburtsnamen, den er fortan für seinen musikalischen Output verwenden will. "High Intolerance Towards Low Energies" ist eine von Tonefloat sehr ansprechend gestaltete LP, limitiert auf 500 Exemplare, und auf 180g Vinyl gepresst.

Das luxuriöse Gatefold Cover mit einem eher rostig anmutenden Artwork trifft gut den submarinen Charakter des Albums: Man meint von der Wasseroberfläche des Meeres langsam abzutauchen, Druck baut sich auf, je tiefer man sinkt. Dröhnen in den Ohren und plötzlich sieht man in der Tiefe ein altes, mächtiges Schiffswrack auf dem Grund liegen. Der Rost zeigt, dass es da schon gar Jahrhunderte liegt. Neugierig und interessiert umkreist man es, aber irgendetwas scheint nicht zu stimmen. Flüstern und Murmeln, wabernde Stimmen und rhythmisches, maschinelles Stampfen. Nervöse, pulsierende Bass- Frequenzen und seltsame, gebrochene Melodiefetzen. Halluzinationen? Tiefenrausch? Man weiß es nicht. Maarten Van Der Vleuten gelingt es auf "High Intolerance Towards Low Energies" ein eigentümlich dichtes Gewirr aus Drohnen und Ambiancen zu schaffen, das in seiner Gesamtheit zu überzeugen weiß.

Dass Van Der Vleuten mit dieser LP ein anderes Bild im Kopf hatte als mein submariner Eindruck, ist nicht weiter schlimm. Er legt den Fokus der Interpretation eher auf eine radikale Darstellung unserer sich immer schneller beschleunigenden Umwelt und will diesen Eindruck mit "High Intolerance Towards Low Energies" eingefangen haben. Diese Intention passt auch wunderbar zu dem unruhigen, fast bedrohlich wirkenden Charakter des Albums. Die enthaltenen 4 Stücke offenbaren eine nervöse Welt in der man entweder immer wieder ob der Bildhaftigkeit paralysiert und staunend stehen bleibt oder eben wie im Fieberwahn durch einen Irrgarten voller unruhiger, fremder Stimmen stolpert. Rating: 8/10

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Review taken from; Vital Weekly (edition 653)

High Intolerance Towards Low Energies

Maybe I heard of Maarten van der Vleuten, but perhaps I didn't know it was him. Apparently he worked under no less than 26 different pseudonyms, but as you might have guessed, I can't mention one, but judging from the press text he dabbled in 'dance' music circles, which makes it perhaps more odd to find his name here on this spacious music label. But if you listen to the music it perhaps makes more sense. Van der Vleuten's music these days has little to do with 'dance' music, although we can find vague traces of it, in the multi-layered electronics. There is rhythm below, very fast, very low and very subdued. On top there is a whole bunch of sound struggling to arise from the mix, along with some drone like sound. There is a lot happening here, which makes a very captivating listening experience. There are faint traces of ethno music inside this otherwise quite psychedelic mass of sound. Its not difficult to see why Tonefloat, a label of textured music, would release this.

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credits

released November 4, 2008

Written, produced and recorded by Maarten van der Vleuten at Flux Studio, The Netherlands.

Photographs by Maarten van der Vleuten, taken at Regina Coeli, Vught, The Netherlands.
Graphic Design by Carl Glover for Aleph Studio, UK.
Released by Tonefloat Records.
Published by Signum Music.
Marketed by Crazy Diamond.

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Maarten van der Vleuten Netherlands

Composer/producer from the Netherlands releasing music in a wide variety of styles. (ambient/experimental as well as house/electro/techno).
Also releasing music as Flux and In-Existence (see Bandcamp).

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