Bad Hammer are masters at work, creating extensive waves of melancholia with velvety atmospheres and emotive songwriting. Following the release of their highly-praised Extended Play, a five-track release that placed them under the spotlight, and a European tour alongside Swedish chanteuse Molly Nilsson, the Neukölln band, comprised of Johannes Badzura and Lisa Klinkhammer, are back with a concept up their sleeve.
Their luscious new single, ‘Mystified’, is a well-rounded trinity: a song, a scent and a commercial. The idea, referencing 80s and 90s TV spots, features perfume in the shape of a pyramidal flacon, to be seen as an object of desire and of status. The video plays with the iconography of the cosmetic industry, luxury and ostentation. Guess what, you can even order the limited edition fragrance here!
As a bonus, the single is also being released along with three distinct remixes from Berlin contemporaries Chikiss, Giraffi Dog and Sami Toroi.
Travelling back to a time across the 1980s and 1990s, we invited Johannes Badzura and Lisa Klinkhammer to elaborate on their vision for ‘Mystified’, sharing with us a selection of perfume commercials that emanate nothing less than opulence, success, fame and glamour.
INOUI & INOUI G by Shiseido (1988)
J&L: We came across this one when we were doing research for the ‘Mystified’ video. We love the makeup, costumes, the whole scenography is amazing. The mushroom dwarf dance for INOUI G is so great, a bit like in Nschotschi Haslingers’ figurative world. It’s all part of Serge Lutens amazing work as creative director for Shiseido between the 80s and 90s. Nowadays, it’s hard to believe that there can be advertising that’s not unimaginative, boring, eco-standard, but that’s given genuine artistic and experimental freedom.
Antaeus by CHANEL (1982)
J: A high-energy ride on a mystic moonlight desert road accompanied by Italo-disco and squeaky soprano sax parts. What else do you need?! The sculptured-ness of that surreal indoor scene puts you somewhere in between the rooms of Chirico and a Francis Bacon painting. It’s totally my dad’s smell, he’s worn it since I was baby. I love it but it’s hard to imagine I could ever wear it myself.
Opium by Yves Saint Laurent (1992)
L: As David Lynch always sneaks you in and out of something, here we go inside the perfume bottle itself. Besides that, it’s a very classy ad with beautiful dark images and music that is a pretty understated, yet shamelessly goes for the climax. When I was around 10 or 12, a friend’s mother used to wear Opium. I remember using their bathroom and sometimes smelling the cap of the bottle, thinking that this is the smell of the adult world. But Opium still remains inappropriate somehow, too mature.
Lou Lou by Cacharel (1988)
J: It looks like the end of a film shoot (maybe the same perfume commercial…?) with Lou Lou exiting the scene and leaving her smell. Lou Lou (c’est moi) is supposed to have the volatile presence of perfume, always disappearing, evanescing memory – a very french sentiment. My older sister used to wear it when she was 17 or so. Heavy sweet stuff, one splash too much plus teenage sweat and you will not forget the headache you got. The flacon is timelessly great.
Paris by Yves Saint Laurent (1985)
L: I love this ad because of its colour concept and also because it’s pretty long, like 2.5 minutes with nothing really happening other than this beautiful woman driving a fancy car hundreds of kilometres to Paris. In the end, she arrives at the Eiffel tower and as she turns around you see two dudes who just woke up in the back seats (apparently they were at a party weekend or something). Then she’s just dancing and laughing and putting on the perfume right under the Eiffel tower. It serves so many stereotypes and classic ad concepts of the 80s. It’s really funny, I have so much love for this scene. I think we tried to exploit this vibe also in our ‘Mystified’ video commercial.