Originally formed as a duo, Schiller was founded by Christopher von Deylen and Mirko von Schlieffen in 1998. Their first album Zeitgeist hit the clubs and dance music scene, but it was their 2001 album, Weltreise, which featured the single “Dream of You” featuring Peter Heppner, which won the ECHO award in 2002 for the Best Dance Single of the Year. The original duo split early on since Schlieffen wanted to focus mostly on trance music, while the remaining member Deylen wanted a more eclectic electronica sound. This branch has lead Schiller on to the projects tenth studio album Morgenstund created by the German electronic musician Christopher von Deylen. Released on March 22, 2019, Deylen has collaborated with singers Nena, Tricia McTeague, Yalda Abbasi, Schwarz, Jhyve and Rebecca Ferguson, plus the musicians Giorgio Moroder and Jan Blomqvist and the music group Tangerine Dream.
Here is where it gets super interesting, Morgenstund is the projects first album to be produced in groundbreaking Dolby Atmos surround sound. The Blu-ray deluxe editions features a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos mix, plus a classic 5.1 surround version of the complete album. It is important to note that the multi-channel mixes differ from the stereo version. So much so that the surround mix offers over four minutes of additional audio, and some speech passages that are included on the stereo version do not exist in the surround realm! In fact, only the “Welcome to the world of Schiller” at the beginning can be heard on both versions.
As immersionists would expect, parts have been distributed throughout the space, providing sonic swells and blasts from all corners. Sequencer tracks often walk around the room, bringing artistic life to the mix while engaging the listener with aural candy. Sounds nestle around the sweet spot encompassing fans with Schiller’s downbeat electronic and techno driven music.
Uncommon to modern day mixes, the vocals often have been placed in the middle of the room, making them very present in the mix. Occasionally voices are heard in the rear channels, with the most notable being the song “In Between,” where alienated vocals seem to come from all directions.
In terms of sound quality, the recording and mix are very harmonious and transparent. Yet with the groups heavy use of technology, an organic edge is missing, leading to a trance state while listening. Wide dynamics simply are not present, and that is clearly by design.
Morgenstund is a great chill release that is perfect to rev up your system into the world of Atmos. It is available at a very reasonable price point in a CD and Blu-ray edition. An extended Deluxe Edition was also sold, but not reviewed here.
Released on March 22, 2019.
Blu-ray disc featuring 7.1 Dolby Atmos and 5.1 48k/24-bit surround mixes.