Wally Badarou is a French-born synthesizer specialist, and long-time associate of the British band Level 42, known for its blend of funk, pop, soul and rock. He has co-written and performed on a number of the band’s tracks since their recording début in 1980, later co-producing them. Though not an official member, he has long been considered an informal “fifth member”.
Badarou was one of the Compass Point All Stars (with Sly and Robbie, Barry Reynolds, Mikey Chung and Uziah “Sticky” Thompson), the in-house recording team of Compass Point Studios responsible for a long series of albums of the 1980s recorded by Grace Jones, Tom Tom Club, Joe Cocker, Mick Jagger, Black Uhuru, Gwen Guthrie, Jimmy Cliff and Gregory Isaacs. His keyboard playing can also be heard on albums by Robert Palmer, Marianne Faithfull, Herbie Hancock, Talking Heads, Foreigner, Melissa Etheridge, Manu Dibango and Miriam Makeba.
Echoes (1983) is his first solo album, which included “Chief Inspector”, “Hi-Life” and “Mambo”, which was sampled for Massive Attack’s “Daydreaming” of the Blue Lines album. You can actually feel Caribbean sunshine with this music. Badarou breathes real life into his synthesizers on this album of happy, upbeat, and danceable instrumentals.