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B-Side Project Imagination Award – Merse remix of Matthias Sturm “All Beauty Must Die”

B-Side Project Imagination Award – Merse remix of Matthias Sturm “All Beauty Must Die”

Project Objective:   The most surprising/interesting/sympathetic use of original song.

mersemerseMatthias Sturm’s original song strides many lines. Somewhere between David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Air and some alien portion of outer space is where his music lives. He doesn’t allow his song to live in one genre, he takes so many of them and jumbles them together to create something utterly unique. His past in visual art as well as his talent with sonic art is completely evident as the listener is given a complete sonic treat with how he chooses to color his songs. The layering, placement and mixing of the instrumentation is unlike anything I’ve heard before. You can tell he does not hide in the shadows and fear experimentation. He is bright and bold with his musical choices. The lyrical content is lush. He admits that he is a fan of the Romantic Era of English Literature. It’s almost as if Lord Byron and his muses decided to make music with an incarnation of Bowie we have not yet seen. He sees himself as a storyteller, and for good reason. He is able to transport us to some subconscious portion of both our own mind and his at the same moment. The content is not light by any means, painted with darker shades of the human mind, and our questions of existence. It gives us the space, literally light years of space, to be able to color our own portrait of what the song is. He is definitely an artist to keep an eye on, if nothing more than to see how he can push boundaries.

Merse takes the song to a completely different level with his remix. While the original is Byron and Bowie, this remix forces the song into the modern day while maintaining the core of the song. It’s still as brightly colored and bold as brass as the original. With remixes it’s often very easy to just cut up the song and put it back together with some catchy riffs and drum beats, but I have to give Merse credit maintaining the song’s essence while still making it very catchy. I think Merse was a very good fit for remixing and revamping “All Beauty Must Die.” The revamp pushed the songs boundaries even further, not just having it create a lush sonic landscape for listeners, but for giving it a new genre to infiltrate.  He gave it a different heartbeat, and through that it gave it different life. The landscape Merse created is a little rougher, and much more gritty than the original, which is saying something about an avant-garde song. It would be very easy to write it off as another club mix of a song, but Merse has a great talent for creating songs that are above the average club mix. He paints them with a completely different set of colors and makes them even better without taking anything away from the original.

Short Biography

The multi-talented singer/songwriter’s life leading up to his emergence as a solo artist rolls like a high spirited travelogue, with his heartfelt voice conveying highly poetic music and lyrics that, in his words, invite the listener to “step into a Byronesque universe inhabited by muses.” Sturm hails from East Germany; was heavily inspired by Mississippi Delta Blues and jazz a la Miles Davis and John Coltrane; attended the evening classes of the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden; and writes most of his songs at home in a large 16th Century Fortress in the Countryside outside of his adopted hometown of Paris. He headed to L.A. to record Blood and Thunder at Blind Melon’s private studio with producer David Hillis, best known for his work with Pearl Jam, Afghan Wigs and James Blunt. The collection also features two-time Grammy nominated songstress Erin Alden (keyboards, piano, arrangements) and drummer Dave Krusen, who anchored Pearl Jam as a founding member.

Drawing upon influences from numerous cultures, Sturm has a unique sound that’s steeped in classic 70s rock and has been compared by Shoentel Music in Los Angeles as “reminiscent of Roger Waters…(but with) more layered depth and more melodic.” Mike Galaxy, an L.A. based music promoter adds, “These songs are cool, very different than anything I’ve ever heard.” They offer a subtle and colorful mix of folk, Avant Garde and French Chanson garnished with cinematic soundscapes. His expansive depth as a singer, songwriter and recording artist is in some ways a musical outgrowth of his highly acclaimed work as a visual artist and painter. After the Berlin wall came down, Sturm became one of East Germany’s youngest and most talented painters. His paintings are part of some important art collections in Germany, Austria and the U.S. and in many private collections.

Remixed Track

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Original Track

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About The B-Side project

The B-Side Project started in 2009 as a UK wide project based around fusing music and providing artists with promotional opportunities. The B-Side Project is the brain child of NE-Xcuse, with the main objective to merge music and to provide additional platforms for music artists, both of live music and electronic production. The objectives are; to fuse formats of music (live formats such as singer-songwriter/acoustic/rock with electronic formats); to provide a platform for musical talent, both locally and by using international exchange; to promote local and international music communities; to provide the audiences with different influences. 

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