Bertrand Richard – Kunuonadivi / Enaow
From Bertrand Richard – Amandine Léopard
Released on Transat, 1984, France

French fusion records can be deceitful: often hidden in intriguing sleeves, with appealing names of synths on the back cover and a mysterious artwork, they can be really deceitful once they’re being played, especially for those of us who are not at ease with endless guitar choruses and super technical drum patterns… What helps us keeping on digging them is the relaxed jewels some of them turn out to be – like Tsunami the amazing album from Magma’s keyboardist, Benoît Widemann, amongst other noticeable examples.

Bertrand Richard’s Amandine Léopard has all the characteristics of one of those intriguing fusion records we just mentioned: a crazy artwork featuring a leopard and a man in white tuxedo (!!!), some cool instruments’ names written on it (percussions, DX7, Jupiter 8…) and a cool palm tree used as a logo for the private label which released it, Transat.

Our expectations were high and the B-side did not disappoint; with its longest track, Kunuonadivi, it almost reaches the quality of Herbie Hancock’s best tunes from the early 1980’s (which are mostly featured on our absolute favorite, Mr Hands). Seriously, who can resist this smooth line of fretless bass, cheesy saxophone chorus and super sensuous synth solos? Time to light the candles and pour yourself some of your finest wine…

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