Ad Visser & Daniel Sahuleka – Giddyap A Gogo
Shortly before Christmas 1982 in half of Europe starting from the Netherlands the charts welcomed a song that would have an enormous success, especially in the scope of dance music, and that was born from the union of two characters absolutely peculiar.
The song is “Giddyap a go-go”, as it was written in the 1980s, with the hyphen, and was performed by a duo then referred to as “Ad Visser & Sahuleka”. Of course the two names were completely unknown if you were not Dutch, and even the fact that the second guy only had one name cast mystery on this second interpreter. The song was very strong, a concentrate of electronics and synthesizers from the first notes, indeed, from the first sounds, driven by an irresistible refrain, and accompanied by a very particular voice.
Although we were in the early seasons of music television, this song did not have a video, so the only chance to know anything more was to wait for Visser and Sahuleka to be guests in some music program, and in fact we can find some of their appearances. It was rather strange that they hadn’t thought of a video; some argue that Ad Visser was distracted by his thousand commitments and interests, but I believe that the song was written for dance clubs, and probably the authors did not expect such success in the world of pop.
Who were these two gentlemen? Let’s start from the personal data: Ad Visser, a Dutch guy with long hair and prominent jaw, after some successful hits he started a career as a television presenter (still today he is very well-known). In particular, he conducted a program called TopPop, which was the Dutch “Top of the Pops”. As a musician he had certainly been one of the pioneers of techno pop in his country.
And I have to say that the Netherlands, a country devoted for culture and DNA to innovation and progress, has in fact always expressed talents of absolute importance, whose limit unfortunately was to think not big enough – the Dutch, by the way, are people who have always spoken excellent English, often with a more standard pronunciation than the English themselves. And in those years we remember, for example, Spargo (although the singer was American), and later Bolland, who wrote and produced music for half of Europe, primarily for Falco.
Visser in his appearances shows his slightly kitschy taste, as we see when he opens his arms and reveals that the jacket is winged with red veins. And he systematically manages to miss the timing of moves and playback, but he certainly has an effect. In any case, he really remains a pioneer, who has conducted various experiments over the years. In 1990, for example, he created CDs called “Brainsessions” that generated alpha waves, to give the listener the feeling of being in a trance.
The scene, however, is absolutely taken by Daniel Sahuleka, a singer and musician born in Indonesia but always a citizen of the world, endowed with an acute but still gritty voice. The relationship between Holland and the East Indies, as Indonesia was called before independence, of course has historical and colonial reasons, but in the 80s this relationship was already of absolute integration – in football, for example, Simon Tahamata of Moluccan origin played for Ajax Amsterdam.
Sahuleka should not be underestimated: he had, both before and after this song, a respectable career that spans very different genres, including jazz, and he is still today, seventy years old, a well-known and beloved artist in Indonesian culture and beyond. Let’s look at how Sahuleka absolutely takes the scene: small in his body structure and dressed in an absolutely minimalist way, with an ornament around his neck that makes him look like tied, he sings while remaining absolutely still, except for some very calculated hand or even fingers gestures. Yet from these tiny gestures we immediately understand the scenic talent of the character, who has a truly remarkable charisma.
With “Giddyap a gogo” Visser and Sahuleka reached the top ten in many European countries, and in the Netherlands this gave Visser a chance that very few had: to participate in TopPop as a guest (along naturally with Sahuleka) in a show presented by himself.