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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

XAVIER QUIJAS YXAYOTL

By JILL ETTINGER
Published June 5, 2006

Aztec Dances
Canyon

In the timeline of Earth, 400 years is less than a blink of an eye. But in the music world it is a land before technology, record labels, producers and drum machines. Xavier Quijas Yxayotl captures the primal essence of the Mexica (more commonly known as the Aztecs) on Aztec Dances. While the music may conjure images of simplicity, these expressions of gratitude and worship are of a complex culture handed down for generations. Aztec society was governed by daily ritual and worship of numerous deities, with offerings to the sun, the seasons, ancestors, animals and virtually every other aspect of nature, all accompanied by music and dance. Yxayotl does his best to interpret the original arrangements on these 11 tracks. Rhythm is abundant, the legacy of the Aztecs mystifying. Modernity may offer many things, but perhaps we do better to take respite from it all, beat a drum and let the eternal child dance.