To what do we owe the spiritual atmosphere of this warm tape? Perhaps we can credit the Sufi meditations of Anıl Berk Çetin (Badmixday), the calming presence of guest stars or the comforting influence of trip-hop. The answer is likely a combination of all three.
When Klangschwester sings, “I feel the same about you, you are the special one” in the opening track ~ one of the few to include vocals ~ the listener may imagine the singer as a human being or as God, while remembering bands such as Zero7, Hooverphonic & Groove Armada. This track serves as an overture, and the rest of the album is a love letter to the listener, who does indeed feel special by the time the set ends. “Lotus Leaves” (featuring fellow Istanbul producer Gökalp K) bursts into bloom quickly and adds additional touches along the way, the most effective of which is a muted horn. A late-track breakdown with bells recalls the work of Jilk, establishing the fact that Badmixday is not a prisoner of the past, simply a student. With one “classic” and one “modern” track under his belt, the artist is free to wander wherever he wishes ~ and so he does.
The artist’s strength is his versatility. Unlike others in the electronic genre, Badmixday plays multiple instruments: trumpet, sax, bass clarinet, flute, piano, violin, even harp. Where others are content to sample, Çetin exercises the ultimate control. “Precious Little Dawn” contains a string loop that seems to come from an old disco record, but apparently it’s all Çetin, sparking thoughts that others may one day choose to sample him. The artist’s tonal consistency allows his mood ~ contemplative and hopeful ~ to permeate every track and groove. The guests buy into this mindset as well. Cali’s Tristan de Liège writes the bass clarinet parts for “Last Traces of Woodsticks”, but the languid, rainswept vibe lines up perfectly with the other components.
Is it just coincidence that the cover figure looks like Starlord? As Starlord is fiercely attached to his own mixtape, we’re pretty sure the reference is intentional. And if some of these tracks find their way into future installments ~ perhaps “Guardians of the Galaxy XX” ~ then the influences will have come full circle. Badmixday has been working toward this debut album for three years, and it shows ~ A Quiet Mind Awaits sounds like the work of a veteran producer. (Richard Allen)