My album of the year 2010 is, without a doubt, ‘Atemlos’ from Schiller. The album is as relaxing as it is surreal, and as surreal as it is powerful and moving. The album defies anyone who say you cannot put a true musician’s emotion in electronic music. The melodies, the harmonies, the fusion of Christopher von Deylen’s performance with the many singers he brings in to sing over it is nothing short of perfect.
“Sunrise”, featuring Lenka, is a symphony in itself. Her voice is as soft as the melody, but the music is as gripping as Grisham at his best. It’s tranquil and an ambiance all in itself. Deylen made the song feel like something some used to find miraculous – a sunrise, for example.
He also features one of my all-time favorite singers – Anggun – on two songs of this album. “Blind” has the same relaxing intensity (Deylen makes that paradox come true) that flows through several of the album’s tracks, while “Always You” is one of the more soft and inventive romantic songs I’ve ever heard. Her voice with Deylen’s music is brilliant fusion not seen very often between two artists so defined separately.
Deylen’s exceptional ear for vocals on his own music does have a flow that matches in perfect syncopation with his music. A male singer I wasn’t familiar with, named Henree, sings on a track called “I Will Follow You”, and though his voice is masculine, it’s as gentle and as perfectly placed as the rest of the female singers on the album. Needless to say, this is Deylen’s largest vocal experimentation in terms of quantity of singers, and none of it was any less than perfectly pieced together and mastered.
If Schiller were to spend much of any time in the US promoting his work, he’d no doubt be a superstar. There’s no one that writes music with the electronic, yet pure, serenity that he does – and that sort of work is a huge gap in America. That purity lacks here, the puzzles Deylen pieces together in such an epic manner lacks here as well. If I were to sit with him in the studio listening to him work, I believe I’d find myself dumbfounded day after day.
Atemlos does what many artists can’t do very often anymore, and that is show the brilliant work of a musician so many years after first paving their way on their respective scene. It’s flawless, it’s gorgeous, it’s full of emotion and relaxation at the same time, and it’s something you can listen to in nearly any mood, or in any time of your life.
As someone that wants a lot of honesty, purity and passion in the music he listens to, I got all of that and more with this album. Simply perfect. Well done, Deylen.