Schiller : Illuminate Review
Christopher von Deylen is the mastermind behind Schiller and is one of Germany’s most successful electronic artists. This is proven by various #1 albums and numerous gold and platinum awards for his electronic music. Schiller is now releasing Illuminate, on which von Deylen is broadening his musical path, focusing on edgy electronic beats with catchy melodies. In addition, Schiller has returned to his electro-pop to create electronic sound worlds and pulsating rhythms.
“Empire Of Light” builds upon a guitar part as multiple layers stack to the theme. Schiller’s instruments’ sounds are full and natural sounding, adding to the appeal. The synth brings in a catchy melody as the dance beat fully develops. Light male vocal parts swim in the background as more layers of percussion, guitar, and synths continue to build. Schiller’s use of the guitar is the standout aspect on this track, I would have enjoyed a more extensive build to the drop and a pumping dance beat the last time, but the song still builds nicely.
“Exotica” has an interesting vocal part, but the auto-tune is too much for my taste. I love it when electronic artists keep the vocals natural, which adds another layer of organic sound to the mix. The synth melody is catchy and leads to a distant female vocalist singing. But, again, the vocals are too overproduced; shame everything else sounds terrific.
Illuminate has beautiful instrument sounds, and von Deylen’s use of layers is the high point. However, the overproduced vocals distract from his organic instrument sounds. Though electro-pop as a genre uses auto-tune, it does not add to the genre, or for that matter, Illuminate.
March 10, 2023
I totally agree that the vocals, which used to be Schiller’s main attraction or at least bringing diversity into the albums, is now Illuminate’s weakest point. I have all albums, but this one is one of the weakest of them all. The choruses on many songs are so flat and dreary (Illuminate, Space, Quiet Love…). I never managed to sit this album out in one session. Never had that problem before bar the Epic album. It almost feels like production has taken away the magic, fairy dust and emotions. Yes, overproduced is the right word. I really wanted to love this album, but it just does not captivate me.