Music Review | posted 08.10.2021
Xochimoki
Temple Of The New Sun
Phantom Limb, 2021
Text Kristoffer Cornils
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Editorial
Cover Xochimoki -     Temple Of The New Sun

In the mid-1980s, two men got together in the US state New Mexico to shoot some goofy promo photos and, more importantly, reinterpret South American musical traditions that preceded the notion of nation states. The ethnomusicologist Jim Berenholz brought his academic background to the table, Mazatl Galindo, as a wisdom keeper and descendant of the Atzek culture, his personal background. Under the name Xochimoki, they travelled to Mayan places of worship, among others, to record sacred music in various Indigenous languages or sometimes wordlessly before pressing it onto profane cassette tapes. »Temple Of The New Sun« comprises eleven of these pieces, which had little to do with the then already overhyped Fourth World approach of Jon Hassell or similar contemporary projects like those that Luis Pérez was pursuing. Although the duo sometimes makes extensive use of lush soundscapes, as on »Zan Totemikuiko« or »Nah Chan,« or, as on »Kokoyo Kayotl« and »Tlalokan,« work with pounding percussion, Berenholz and Galindo’s work puts a clear focus on the human voice, flutes and the resonant spaces around them. The lyrics also draw connections from one pyramid culture to the next, thus linking Mesoamerican with Egyptian culture – the dissolution of boundaries appears to be one of the key goals of their shared endeavour. This music will certainly find its place in the new-age crate of every record shop even faster than it did back then, but there it will also stick out like a sore thumb: even at their most overly mystical, Xochimoki have succeeded in developing a very idiosyncratic sound aesthetic.

Please find »Temple Of The New Sun« by Xochimoki in the webshop of HHV Records: Viny LP
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