#TBT: Elizabeth — 'Ppappa Pierrot'


Given it’s the day after Halloween (forgive me), it seemed at least partially fitting that we give the best holiday of the year the proper send off. Thus we have lost but not forgotten electro-pop duo Elizabeth.
It’s not very often that you come across a Korean music video that’s actually … disturbing. But just a short perusal of the comments beneath this video, all the K-pop babies (old and new, as it were) had a little bit more of a shock when they came across this music video for group’s debut track, “Ppappa Pierrot.”

The song itself is somewhat typical of music around that time (both in Korea and in the clubs of Europe, mostly London and certain parts of Germany). It’s good old-fashioned techno-trance with a catchy pop beat, not unlike the work that legend Lee Jung-hyun‘s was cranking out (a la “Crazy”).  The style really did take on a life of its own for a time there in the early 2000s.
However, what really sells the song is just how damn creepy the video is for most who view it. It’s a hodge-podge of imagery that makes reference to the occult, witchcraft and all the crazy things most associate with topics therein. As such, many people just didn’t know what to do with it. It’s unfortunate the group didn’t get as much shine as many of their contemporaries. They had vocals suited for techno, a genre that doesn’t easily lend itself to actual vocalists. But their ability to take on a concept with such fearlessness was commendable. It’s dark, nasty in spots. It continues to leave people wondering exactly what the hell side of YouTube they’ve stumbled upon (back when people considered anything from Asia the “dark side of YouTube”; “Ppappa Pierrot” did not help to dispel the connotation). These young ladies had the biggest brass ones in the world to use shock to make their opening statement.
This one goes out to the original concept queens, Elizabeth. I miss these chicks so much!
(YouTube, Hyun Jae is Kai.)

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