Every so often I come across a review that talks about an unjustly forgotten genius, and every time it turns out that his output is obscure for some very good reasons, and its place in the 50 cent bin is well-deserved. But if there is one exception to that rule, Vecchio must be the one.
What is known about them would probably fit on a matchbox. Vecchio is named after a keyboardist Luis Vecchio (who, I think, is italian); the rest of the band is unknown and I am not sure if it really was a band rather than studio musicians. Afro-Rock is on the De Wolfe "library music" label.
Apparently, in the 70s some TV producers figured they'd like to have a store of prerecorded music ("a sound library") to pick from if need be. They would hire a bunch of anonymous hacks to bash out ten, twenty, fifty hours of faceless elevator muzak, and when someone shoots a show, they can just go pick out something from the shelf instead of recording a soundtrack specifically for the occasion. This policy generated hundreds and hundreds of hours of, yes you guessed it, faceless elevator muzak. For some reason it recently got popular with the DJ types who delight in obscurity; there are many compilations of the least-faceless tracks under the titles like "Music for dancefloors" or "Cream of [label name] library sessions", and, IMHO, the whole thing is a damn travesty.
BUT NOT THIS! Afro-Rock is a massive fat ten-ton monstergroove of a record; it's not faceless, it's in-your-face. A barrage of afro percussion, tight fusion-brass section and pumping funk bass all melt into a seamless forty-minute groovefest to fry your brain. I first heard it on the excellent Africafunk compilations, where he easily outfunked such monsters as Tony Allen, Manu Dibango, and the mighty mighty Fela himself. This is the only record which stays on my iPod ever since I got it (the record, I mean). I truly cannot recommend it enough! If a casual visitor is to take one thing from this blog, let it be this one.
I'll conclude with the last shred of info on Vecchio himself: apparently, this record overloaded his fuses and he left for Canary Islands to join a religious cult. He recorded one other album as a keyboard trio. From what I hear, it's about Solar Christ and aliens.
5. Green Hell