Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Adjeef The Poet—
Ieek! I'm A... Freak/ Squafreckleman Comes Back


Released 1967 on Action
The Seth Man, January 2005ce
Along with Provo demonstrations, hashish and white bicycles, this single reeks entirely of 1967 underground Amsterdam. Under the run-on credit line of ‘Adjeef The Poet, His Girl(s), His Friend(s) And The Rest of the World(s)’ Amsterdam radio DJ Ad Visser adopted the turned-on moniker ‘Adjeef The Poet’ for his one-off 1967 freak out single. Sucking in inspiration nearly exclusively from side four of The Mothers of Invention’s double “Freak Out” LP, from which Ad condensed all of the necessary ingredients ranging from free-form vocals, percussion patterns, theremin effects, indecipherable and nonplussing-as-fuck lyrics into bizarre sound-shapes that consequently sloshed all over both sides of this single, and filed under two titles that were freaky down to their toenails: “Ieek! I’m A...Freak” and “Squafreckleman Comes Back.”

The topside, “Ieek! I’m A Freak” sees Groep 1850 sounding like a Tax-free Outsiders as they kick up with a robust Who ’66-era beat and an opening fuzz bass that rends and nearly splits the whole thing in half before Adjeef The Freaky Poet begins calmly intoning lyrics describing disjointed imagery and various states of mind against the background sonic underpinnings of spindly electric guitar, outrageous fuzz bass and ultra-tight drumming into the unflagging linear progression of the backing group’s ‘Muziek Expres Op Art Sound ’66 Serie’ style. And to top it all off are constant waves of rising, falling and screeching theremin that, like the “rising mushrooms growing in your brain” Adjeef is going on about, will “always come back again.” And since Ad’s addled, Dutch-hewn English received pronouncements are soon “dancing on your nerve vibration,” even the line “Sunday nights you give parties/Where your friends listen to The Moonglows” is made to seem the ultimate psychedelic experience especially where the last word steps waywardly into ersatz echo chamber with a singly repeated “MOONGLOW” (What ARE these “slobbery words dancing on your nerve vibration,” anyway?!!) By track’s end, Adjeef can only conclude that “You find yourself a freak,” thereby causing everything to wildly whirl off course: the theremin starts cutting through the walls of time at a variety of pitches while the band jacks up the tempo for the track’s moment of truth is finally at hand. The drums kick off furiously, rattling onwards and propelled by racket-strumming guitar forward until a final theremin swoop lurches the whole mess to an abrupt halt.

“Squafreckleman Comes Back” is a totally different scene from the A-side: about as different as the first three minutes of The Mothers’ “The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet” are from the last three of “It Can’t Happen Here.” Which is to say they are poles apart and unsurprisingly compare favourably with both sides of this single as they were in all certainty the blueprint Adjeef used to subsequently freak out upon so freely. And there is what sounds to be an extended crew present on the free-form “Squafreckleman Comes Back.” Opening with trilling and shrilling horns that blare out in salute, this quickly subsides and falls directly into a distant percussion line and then the entry of Adjeef intoning: “Where is Squafreckleman?” No response from Squafreckleman, so he’s dropping to his knees and imploring for his return, and soon Adjeef The Poet transforms into Ad-Lib The Moron as he hastily pleads and rants off at the mouth with a series of rapid fire somersaulting avowals in time to the ensuing rhumba line: “Come back! Come back! Please come back! I need you all the time! Oh, where are you now? Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! I see the red fork in his eyes! I see the red fork...The red fork in his eyes!” as all the while buoyant Jew’s harp recoil and spring, shrill operatic wails, background swamp gas vocals and all of Adjeef’s girls, friends and (seemingly) the rest of the world are a massed jumble of rhythm and voices: singing, freaking, repeating Adjeef’s main vocal or content to just holler insensibly in the background as chants rise and fall. The track then breaks off to run backward with a series of terrifying streaking shrieks...and the near-rhumba rhythm punches back in, only this time far quieter. Of course, it starts to build with more and more vociferous pleas for Squafreckleman as further vocal embellishments break out across the darkened studio as whispering, crying and “Woo! Woo! Woo!” jumble together in the background. At this point “I remember, doot-doot/I remember doot-doot/they had a swimming pool” could barge in at any time but instead ends with a final “woo!” and low, basso profundo punctuation.

Visser had his own radio program during the cusp of the late sixties/early seventies called Superclean Dream Machine, then hosted the highly successful Dutch television music programme, “Top Pop” for an extended stretch of time. Currently, Visser involves himself with a wide range of endeavours; producing everything from sci-fi novels, new age CDs to best-selling sex instruction videos. And after all this time, he still wears glasses and is still a...freak.

Note:
Both sides of Adjeef The Poet’s single were tacked onto the CD reissue of “Pebbles Vol. 3” as bonus tracks alongside a pair of other noteworthy moments of psychedelic garage punk. Namely, the fuzzed-out downer of “Deathwise” by Catfish Knight and the sound FX-laden, Jim Morrison-meets-The Deep free-form mind destruction, “Rattle Of Life” by Oshun.