Matterhorn Project is over 30 years old! Here you find some background information on this unique musical project.
From jingle production to the MUH! success
Matterhorn Project was conceived in the mid 80s by Stella & PJ Wassermann. The two musicians had been making their living from the early 80s by producing radio jingles and movie and video soundtracks in order to finance their artistic projects, mainly Schaltkreis Wassermann. In the mid eighties Stella and PJ leased a Fairlight IIx, the world’s first sampling computer and it was ridiculously expensive. They boasted to clients that they now could make cows sing. One client wanted a demo, in the end it wasn’t used but through a series of incidents ‘MUH!’ turned out to be a number 2 hit in Switzerland, a number 5 in South Africa and it was released all over Europe and in Japan. With a proper management the two young musicians would quickly have become millionaires.
Another hit song and the first album
‘MUH!’ was one of the first Swiss ethno-pop songs and definitely the first one with a technoid touch. In the meantime this has become a genre of its own. After the big success of ‘MUH!’ in 1985 Matterhorn Project created the follow-up single ‘Yo-lollo-diuh’ that concentrated on yodeling by Heidi Blum. This proficient singer had already contributed a short but much loved yodel to ‘MUH!’. Stella also did some singing on this track and the interplay between her voice and the yodel is very nice. It also became a top ten hit in Switzerland. The following album ‘Matterhorn Project’ made it only to number 26 in the Swiss charts due to a lack of promotion from the record company (Depeche Mode released an album at the same time, the promoter of the label was a big fan of these Brits and so our album kind of got lost…typically music business).
Loss of musical direction
The success of Matterhorn Project was a two-sided sword for Stella & PJ Wassermann. Their fan base with Schaltkreis Wassermann didn’t like the much more commercial character of Matterhorn Project. The artists themselves of course enjoyed the success of MattPro and the rewards that came with it but basically they wanted to move into a different artistic direction, more into serious pop music and they wanted to put their vocal talents to use. They produced a quite interesting follow-up album “Dancing to the Beat of Life” and wanted to release it under the name of “Stella & the Chips” but the record company insisted on the name of Matterhorn Project which of course was a big mistake. The MattPro fans wanted more cows and funny stuff and not songs like “30’000 Dollars”, a song about worldwide military spending per second.
Another great hit song but it flopped
Afterwards the two young artists tried to produce another typical MattPro hit with the song “I’d Love to be your Tampax Now”, based on the infamous leaked telephone call between Prince Charles and his secret lover Camilla. Two British actors were hired to record the conversation. It’s actually a pretty solid and very funny piece of pop music. Two British record labels recognized its hit potential but withdrew from the project after consulting their lawyers. Not only was the subject too scandalous but the use of the brand name Tampax was even more problematic.
MattPro goes into sleep mode
Stella & PJ Wassermann finished their third album “Tek*Novelty” that was later reported to be a hit as a Russian pirate copy. Nice but no money coming in and the artists lost interest in Matterhorn Project. In 1988 Stella had given birth to their son Sean and was happy to be a mama. PJ moved into other musical directions and software development.
Matterhorn Project re-awakens
In 2007 Swiss TV did a big show “The Greatest Swiss Hits” in 2007 and invited Matterhorn Project to participate. Reason enough to create a new version of “MUH!” and a very danceable one. And now in 2018 Matterhorn Project comes to a new life with the Ragga Remix of “Yo-Lollo-Diuh” and a 2018 remake of this hit song of 1985. The new EP “Yollo 2018” will be released on November 9 2018. Let’s see what the future will bring to Matterhorn Project…