Temple Of The New Sun
October 8th 2021
Xochimoki - celebrated American ethnomusicologist Jim Berenholz and Aztec descendant / wisdom keeper Mazatl Galindo - traverse millenia with career compendium Temple Of The New Sun, an album recorded in New Mexico in the mid 1980’s but tracing a lineage back thousands of years.
Xochimoki summon feathered gods and animal spirits. They incant mythological folktales of celestial glory and supernatural dread. Their songs are sung in Pre-Columbian Central and South American languages, including Nahuatl, Maya, Purepecha and Quechua. And much of their music was written at ancient ceremonial sites, in rituals and meditations, in communion with the spirits that rest there. There is an inherent sense of storytelling, of the peoples of the jungle and the earth living through this music.
Album opener “Pantzikuini” trills and flows with liquid sunlight, a secret cave of glittering gemstones. Its trickling flues of panpipe melodies run like Aztec ambient music, completely organic and in rhythm with the life of the rainforest. Next, “Naui Ollin” [Eng: “Four Movement”] represents the ending of the bʼakʼtun - the Mayan long count calendar from which many contemporary observers erroneously predicted the 2012 apocalypse. A prophecy of destruction and renewal here expressed with piercing flute shrills and powerful rhythms. “Tua Ra” is a praise to the rising sun, written at a Toltec ceremonial centre in Mexico and made from tightly bound chords of vocal harmony and ritual drums.