If the theory behind Day Zero: Sound Of The Mayan Spirit is true, you'll only have a few weeks to actually hear it. Day Zero is based around the ancient Mayan prophecy that the world as we know it is due to end on December 21st, 2012, a date which Damian Lazarus will be marking with a massive party at Playa Del Carmen in Mexico which will culminate—all things being well—with an alignment of cosmic forces that will begin the next phase in humanity's cycle.
In the run-up, Lazarus has asked 13 Crosstown Rebels cohorts to provide specially-recorded tracks influenced by the imminent apocalypse. A fair few of the artists have taken this to mean "give me something with tribal rhythms, chanting voices, rainforest noises and preferably some flutes." They're all pretty obvious signifiers for music inspired by the legends of an ancient people from subtropical Central America, and are present right from the off in Pier Bucci's ominous "Mayas" and the portentous atmospheres of Quenum's "The Prophecy." They're not always overplayed though: Metrika's "Jeel K'eex" starts off a bit Pan Pipe Moods but the insistently tapping percussion, muttering voices and shrieking wildlife build into something genuinely sinister. Acid Pauli and Nu's "12" is an eerie and elegiac close to proceedings.
Elsewhere, though, other producers have interpreted the brief more loosely—although not as laxly as Jay Haze who has seemingly delivered a remix of his handily-titled "2012" track from 2010's Enter The Darkness EP. Francesca Lombardo invokes the idea of a new consciousness as she intones "awaken" over the morphing melodies of "Cosmic Dancer," while Fur Coat's "Greed, Insanity" has a robotic voiceover explaining that "everything is about to change"—even if the crunchy 4/4 beat suggests they've hardly been through a miraculous musical transformation themselves.
One thing the dark tone of much of these tracks fails suggest however is that 21st December could be a date to celebrate rather than dread. Even the most energetic dance floor moment—Matthew Jonson’s excellent "In Search of a New Planet with Oxygen"—sounds like lightning splitting the skies rather than a bright new dawn. The one exception is Mike Shannon’s blissful "Sunrise" with its tinges of Galaxy 2 Galaxy, although that still feels like the world going out with a whimper rather than a bang. Like the majority of music here, it's a solid if not spectacular track. Given the weight of its line-up and the supposed magnitude of the event it's meant to mark, Day Zero feels like a bit of an anti-climax.
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Tracklist: Damian Lazarus - Day Zero: Sound Of The Mayan Spirit01. Pier Bucci - Mayas
02. Quenum - The Prophecy
03. Mathew Jonson- In Seach of a New Planet with Oxygen
04. Metrika - Jeel, k'eex
05. Francesca Lombardo - Cosmic Dancer
06. Fur Coat - Greed, Insanity
07. Fosky & BOg - Chestionabil
08. Jay Haze -2012
09. Eduardo Castillo - Ahometa Kuyaxi
10. Navid Izadi ft. KMLN - Kurandero
11. Mike Shannon - Sunrise
12. Thugfucker & Shaun Reeves - Timewave Zero
13. Acid Pauli & Nu â€“ 12