Sergio Ch. Premieres “Los Barcos” Video from 1974

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

SERGIO CH AT PIANO

Over the last couple years as former Los Natas and current Soldati frontman Sergio Chotsourian — also of Ararat, whose status is somewhat up in the air at this point — has developed his multifaceted solo persona Sergio Ch., experimenting with South American folk traditions, psychedelia and drone fluidity, as well as developed various one-offs and side-projects, I’ve posted any number of videos corresponding to whatever he’s got going at the time. Some are premieres, like the one for “Los Barcos” below, and some are just put out there as quickly as I can catch up to their actual release. But he’s been a regular around these parts for a while now, and that’s not without reason.

The basic fact of the matter is I believe what Chotsourian is doing now is important. His status in Argentinian and South American heavy in general — fostered not only through Los Natas‘ enduring influence, but through his South American Sludge Records label as well — is unquestionable, but in listening to his two solo records, 2016’s 1974 (review here) and 2017’s Aurora (review here), it’s abundantly clear his interest lies not in rehashing past glories, but continuing to push into new areas of sound and style. Despite this, his approach is consistently organic and his voice resonant with emotion. There’s always genuine expression happening, regardless of the context in which it appears.

So if you’re wondering, I guess that’s why I try and post about his work as much as possible, and that’s why I’m going to continue to do so. I suppose you could say I’m a fan.

“Los Barcos” originally appeared on 1974, and if you’re wondering why there’d be a video for it now, note the violin guest spot from Milagros Arrom, who also did the camerawork for the clip.

Please enjoy:

Sergio Ch., “Los Barcos” official video premiere

VIDEO OFICIAL DEL DISCO DE SERGIO CH. – “1974”
PRODUCIDO POR SERGIO CH.
CAMARA POR MILAGROS ARROM
VIDEO REALIZADO POR LUCAS MARTINEZ

OUI OUI RECORDS
SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS

South American Sludge Records on Bandcamp

South American Sludge Records on Thee Facebooks

Sergio Ch. on YouTube

Oui Oui Records website

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Gabo Ferro & Sergio Ch. Post “Corona de Caranchos” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

sergio ch y gabo ferro

In a way, it seems that a collaboration between Sergio Chotsourian and Gabo Ferro was probably bound to happen. Both Buenos Aires-based artists have long-running career trajectories that have brought them to solo singer-songwriterism: Ferro was the founding vocalist of hardcore outfit Porco and went on to release a number of albums on his own, while Chotsourian took an even more path to releasing solo albums as the founding guitarist/vocalist of Los Natas and an ongoing string of other projects and collaborations from Ararat to Soldati and so on. Neither is a stranger to working in collaboration with other artists, and together, as Gabo Ferro y Sergio Ch., they’ll release their debut album, Historias de Pescadores y Ladrones de la Pampa Argentina, next month on Oui Oui Records.

The album’s title translates to “stories of fishermen and thieves of the Argentinian lowlands,” and if you note that there’s an immediate gabo ferro y sergio ch historias de pescadores y ladrones de la pampa argentinaconnection to place in the title, that would hardly seem to be a mistake. To herald the record’s arrival, Ferro and Chotsourian have released a video for “Corona de Caranchos,” and it’s a song steeped in South American folk traditions. Still modern in its structure and sound, it speaks to that specificity of place in its atmosphere and melody, bringing the listener along on a textured journey that is naturalistic in its execution and no less emotionally resonant than it is thoughtfully composed. I’ll cop to not being as familiar with Ferro‘s work as Chotsourian‘s but as “Corona de Caranchos” demonstrates plainly, their two voices and styles work well alongside each other, and the single leaves one curious to find out where else Historias de Pescadores y Ladrones de la Pampa Argentina might take them. Presumably, at some point, near some water.

When we spoke, Chotsourian had the release in two weeks through Oui Oui Records. Sometimes their stuff can be hard to find outside Argentina, but we live in a magical age of technical wonders in which it’s really, really, really easy to spend money, and if you’re reading this, you’re already on the internet, so I’m guessing you can figure it out.

Enjoy the “Corona de Caranchos” video below:

Gabo Ferro & Sergio Ch., “Corona de Caranchos” official video

Directed by Dante Martínez.

From the album: “Historias de Pescadores y Ladrones de la Pampa Argentina.”

Out on OUI OUI RECORDS.

South American Sludge Records on Bandcamp

South American Sludge Records on Thee Facebooks

Sergio Ch. on YouTube

Oui Oui Records website

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Soldati Post New Single “El Latigo y las Riendas”

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Last summer, Buenos Aires-based heavy rock trio Soldati issued the single El Nudo en la Soga (discussed here) and put out word of an intended vinyl release. It’s been some months, obviously, and I have to wonder if the newly-posted “El Latigo y las Riendas” isn’t perhaps the B-side of that same single, which presuambly would be put out through frontman Sergio Chotsourian‘s own imprint, South American Sludge Records; though at this point one never knows.

The reason I say that is because Chotsourian — who uses the abbreviated moniker Sergio Ch. for his solo and other releases and who has been talked about here enough over the years that I can’t believe I still feel compelled to explain that — recently signed Italy’s Argonauta Records to re-release the first, classic album from Los Natas, 1996’s Delmar, through that label rather than his own. I think an eye toward European distribution is the idea there, which makes sense. The one time I was fortunate enough to watch Los Natas play, it was in Europe and the crowd loved it.

But back to the matter at hand, I’m not sure where that leaves Soldatior Sergio Ch.‘s solo work — he’s got a new album coming this year as well– so we’ll just have to find out as we get closer. In the meantime, you might recall that “El Latigo y las Riendas” was posted here about a year ago as a solo track. Hardly the first time one Sergio Ch. project has bled over into another, and I doubt it will be the last.

Whatever comes next and however it arrives, enjoy the single. Recording info follows, then the stream:

soldati el latigo y las riendas

SOLDATI – EL LATIGO Y LAS RIENDAS

[S.A.S. 085]

SERGIO CH. – GUITARRA & VOCALS
LUCAS CASSINELLI – BASS
RANZ – BATERIA

Recorded and mixed by PATRICIO CLAYPOLE at ESTUDIO EL ATTIC
Mastered by PATRICIO CLAYPOLE at ESTUDIO EL ATTIC
Artwork by Sergio Ch.
Produced by PATRICIO CLAYPOLE

SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS

https://www.facebook.com/SOLDATIDOOMNACIONAL
https://sasrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SASRECORDSARGENTINA

Soldati, “El Latigo y las Riendas”

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Sergio Ch. Premieres “Fuerte Armado” Video; Updates on Next Album From Skulls

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

sergio ch

Sergio Chotsourian, the padrino of modern Argentinian heavy rock, is being somewhat tight-lipped when it comes to his next solo release. One might recall his last outing, the sophomore LP Aurora (review here), worked in a structure of offsetting two massive works of drone with more naturalistic, acoustic-based fare. One can extrapolate from the rather minimal info Chotsourian gave below that From Skulls might follow a similar pattern upon its release sometime later in 2018. Even if there are structural similarities, however, I wouldn’t count on Chotsourian to go repeating himself. Anyone who heard Aurora after his 2015 solo debut 1974 (review here) or who may have followed his career through his days in Los Natas, to Ararat, to Soldati and any of the number of projects he has going now, including cradling an entire continent’s worth of underground heavy with his South American Sludge Records label can tell you: you never quite know what you’re going to get.

All the better, and speaking of Los Natas — if you missed the news earlier this month — that most woefully defunct of power trios has inked a deal to release their classic debut album, Delmar, as an LP through Italian imprint Argonauta Records. That record, originally issued through Man’s Ruin, was something of a watershed moment for desert rock not actually from the Californian desert, and though by the time they were done in 2009/2010, Los Natas had become a very different band — for example, adding the “Los” part to their name where it hadn’t been there to start with — it remains a landmark over 20 years later.

Why bring it up now? Well, for starters it’s not like I can talk about From Skulls since I haven’t heard it yet, and also, if as Chotsourian asserts below that it’s maybe his best album ever, it’s got some tough competition in that regard, but with an assessment like that, I look forward all the more to hearing it when the time comes.

Until then, enjoy “Fuerte Armado” on the player below:

Sergio Ch., “Fuerte Armado” live playthrough

I’ve just finished recording a new solo album. Folk drone. I’m thrilled maybe my best album ever.

12 songs. 7 folk songs, 2 mega drones. Releasing by end of the year.

But recorded a live track as an advance video for it.

South American Sludge Records on Thee Facebooks

South American Sludge website

South American Sludge Records on Bandcamp

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IAH to Release Self-Titled Debut March 23 on Kozmik Artifactz

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The self-titled debut EP (review here) from Argentinian heavy psych rockers IAH left enough of an impression on my first runthrough with it that I included it as one of the top short releases of 2017. And so it was. The jammy newcomers put forth an offering of marked character and sonic personality, and their chemistry was apparent from the very start. It was an easy record to dig into and get lost in, and held considerable promise for things to come from them. Immersive and hypnotic but as engaging so as not to let the listener get anymore lost than they necessarily wanted to be, it was a thrill and something of a surprise of a first release.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one taken by it, as Kozmik Artifactz will have it out on vinyl later this month. Details on the release follow here, but you pretty much know the drill by now: Limited numbers, vinyl mastering, Euro pressing, quality gatefold. Kozmik Artifactz doesn’t screw around when it comes to this kind of thing, and if you’ll note that the release is six tracks instead of the original four, it’s because the band issued two bonus cuts last June as a follow-up, and the LP version compiles them all together. Makes perfect sense.

From the PR wire:

iah

IAH – IAH – Kozmik Artifactz

Introducing IAH and our first Kozmik release of 2018! We’ve been waiting patiently to be able to release this stunning debut. Hailing from Argentina, IAH are a cosmic force of interstellar proportions. From the opening of “Cabalgan los Cielos” to the epic climatic implossion of “Nuboj”, IAH is a voyage through sound that will leave you mesmerised.

Available as limited edition vinyl

Release Date: 23rd March 2018

VINYL FACTZ
– Plated & pressed on high performance vinyl at Pallas/Germany
– limited & coloured vinyl
– 300gsm gatefold cover
– special vinyl mastering

TRACKS
1. Cabalgan los cielos
2. Ouroboros
3. Stolas
4. Eclipsum
5. La piedra que sujeta el sol
6. Luboj

IAH are:
Mauricio Condon – Guitar
Juan Pablo Lucco Borlera – Bass
José Landin – Drums
Guillermo Scarpa – Visuals

https://www.facebook.com/IAHBanda/
https://iahbanda.bandcamp.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

IAH, IAH Bonus Tracks (2017)

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Los Natas to Reissue Delmar on Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Be still, my beating heart. If you’ve been hanging around here for any length of time — longtime, shorttime, hardy any time at all — then you’re probably already aware of my feelings about Natas‘ 1998 debut album Delmar. One of the best records ever released. Period. Whether you’re talking desert rock. Heavy psych. Stoner rock. Heavy rock and roll. Whatever it is, that record is just unbelievable, and 20 years after its issue, it still in my opinion holds up to everything that’s come along since, from the trio’s native Argentina or anywhere else for that matter. It’s that fucking good. Actually, it’s better than that.

If you’re wondering why I might be so stoked on the prospect of a reissue of a record that — though it’s been out of print for some time — rest assured, I already own multiple copies of, first I’ll say: are you kidding? It’s another space on my shelf that can be taken up by Delmar and that’s an automatic win. Second, with Argonauta Records behind the reissue, the album has been fully remastered, and I feel like it’s a record I know well enough that I might actually be able to tell the difference from one version to the next, rather than just pretend I can like everyone does all the time. So yeah, way stoked.

More to come. Here’s word from the PR wire:

natas

We’re beyond excited to announce that legendary LOS NATAS are now part of Argonauta Records family!

LOS NATAS is a trio formed during 1994 in Buenos Aires/Argentina. Their musical influences are numerous and varied, having the base of the raw and psychedelic sound of 1970s bands such as The Doors, Black Sabbath, The Who, Pink Floyd and Hawkwind, among others. Los Natas propose a journey made of basic elements: valvular equipment and vintage instruments, they incorporate the use of the senses and perception of the listener as a part of a sonic trip.

They make music that changes constantly, supported by long jams that give them a different meaning every time they execute them having that way a sense of freedom in the way of interpreting the sounds, making this experience extremely related to the sensations that both the musicians and the audience receive every time a show begins. This is the essence of what people knows today as Stoner Rock.

LOS NATAS historical debut album DELMAR will see again the light during 2018 on CD and LP via ARGONAUTA Records, remastered edition from the original tapes.

More details to follow soon.

https://www.facebook.com/LOSNATAS/
https://twitter.com/LOSNATASTWITER
www.natasrock.com
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Natas, Delmar (1998)

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Ararat Post “El Camino del Mono” Video from Cabalgata Hacia la Luz

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ARARAT

I’ve made no attempt to hide my fandom for Buenos Aires trio Ararat in the past, and neither will I do so now. Still, it’s something of a surprise, maybe to have a new video from the Argentine group show up at this point. Their most recent album, Cabalgata Hacia la Luz (review here), was issued in 2014, and it’s been an another two years since their last clip showed up, that one for “Los Escombros de Jardin” (posted here). So what gives as regards the timing? Hell if I know. I’m just the guy who puts up posts. If you want scheduling, that’s a whole different department.

Of course, we know that Ararat frontman Sergio Chotsourian has kept plenty busy over the last several years between reissues from his former band, Los Natas, founding and developing the raw rock trio Soldati and embarking on a solo drone-folk career under his Sergio Ch. moniker across multiple releases. Add to that the fostering of continental output he does through his South American Sludge label and I guess it didn’t seem unreasonable to think Ararat were on the backburner at least for the time being if not permanently. One new video — this one for the track “El Camino del Mono” — doesn’t necessarily change that, and it doesn’t mean there’s a new record in the works or anything like that, but hell, at least it’s a signal that the band still exists. Bottom line is I’ll take it.

Ararat is comprised of Chotsourian on bass and vocals, guitarist Tito Fargo and drummer Alfredo Felitte. You can see “El Camino del Mono” below, and when/if I hear of more doings on the part of the band, I’ll keep you posted. you know the drill.

Enjoy the video in the meantime, and if you haven’t yet picked up Cabalgata Hacia la Luz, it’s never too late.

Dig:

Ararat, “El Camino del Mono” official video

New video premiere of Ararat “El Camino del mono”. directed by Martin Busacca!

VIDEO OFICIAL DEL DISCO DE ARARAT – “CABALGATA HACIA LA LUZ”
PRODUCIDO POR TITO FARGO
VIDEO DIRIGIDO POR MARTIN BUSACCA

OUI OUI RECORDS
SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS

Ararat on Thee Facebooks

Sergio Ch. website

South American Sludge website

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Manthrass Premiere “Como un Volcan”; Mapa Estelar Due in March

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

manthrass

Buenos Aires-based heavy rock trio Manthrass are gearing up to release their second album, Mapa Estelar, in March via Buscando Records and Kenai Records. Whether it’s the deep-toned fuzzy rollout of the opening title-track or the classic-minded heavy blues start-stop swing of the leadoff single “Paso Firme” that follows, it does not take long for the Argentine three-piece to distinguish their sophomore outing from its predecessor, 2015’s Blues del Destino (review here). To be sure, as cuts like “El Luchador” punch home their forward-minded riffing and the post-Clutch groove of “Seguir es Ganar” lands itself in a dudely sing-along chorus of “ooh”s, there’s still plenty of burl shared from the first record to this follow-up, but the level of presentation has shifted entirely, and where Blues del Destino had a rawer bite to the guitar tone of Mariano Castiglioni and Ángel Rex Rizzo‘s bass and the vocals — duties shared between them with backing from drummer Federico Martinez — cut through dry and less assured, Mapa Estelar engages a smoother approach all around, and Manthrass sound confident in their craft and righteous in their execution as a result.

To record Mapa Estelar, the band returned to producer Damián Colaprette, and that consistency is important, since it signals a directness of intention in terms of their growth — i.e., it’s not just that they had somebody different helm their record. They didn’t. Granted, Mapa Estelar was tracked at a different studio than its predecessor, but with the level manthrass como un volcanof progression from the prior batch of songs to the smoothness of the balance in “El Ermitaño,” where Rizzo‘s basslines come through so crisply and excellently balanced in bolstering Castiglioni‘s guitar leads as Martinez rolls the track along with rhythmic fluidity, the development very obviously isn’t limited to presentation. Manthrass have grown as songwriters as well. And to be sure, while Mapa Estelar has a smoother, more cohesive feel on the whole, there’s no corresponding lack of impact to the material, as the Megadeth-meets-Sabbath verse-chorus transition in “Como un Volcan” shows in answering the initial push of the opener, Manthrass brazenly adapting the trappings of heavy metal to their own contextual purposes, and in just four minutes, affirming the identity the debut began to craft as an idea based around sonic growth, a pervasive lack of pretense and a penchant for hooks that come through regardless of any language barrier that may or may not exist for a given listener. That is to say, ignorant as I am, I don’t speak more than the faintest hint of Spanish, and I still have these songs stuck in my head.

Naturally, this is to Manthrass‘ credit entirely, but neither is Mapa Estelar necessarily limited to a single take in terms of style. The bluesier fare of “Seguir es Ganar” and “Paso Firme” is met head-on by the more rocking push of the uptempo “El Ermitaño” and the seven-minute jamming instrumental centerpiece “La Eterna Lucha del Gris y el Verde,” and the expansion continues late with the penultimate acoustic interlude “Bei Tempi,” which is under a minute long in the tradition of a quick Iommic bit of finger but still showcases a drive toward adapting more diversity of sound and bringing a sense of full-album flow to Mapa Estelar rather than simply presenting it as a collection of tracks. That difference is perhaps the defining factor of Manthrass‘ second long-player, but it’s no less crucial to underscore the lack of self-indulgence in their work overall. There’s nothing showy about Mapa Estelar on a performance level, and all the band seems to ask of their audience is that occasionally the nod turn into a headbang along the way, which given the energetic charge they put in from “Mapa Estelar” to the raucous-but-still-controlled finisher “Lejos” is by no means a chore. Beyond that, CastiglioniRizzo and Martinez seem bent on having a good time and grooving out as they make established classic tenets their own, and the quality of their output in so doing makes listening to Mapa Estelar an infectious pleasure in the front-to-back listening experience. The first record had potential, this one confirms it.

Take a listen to the premiere of “Como un Volcan” below. Mapa Estelar is due out this March on Buscando Records and Kenai Records. Quote from Castiglioni, album info and links follow.

Please enjoy:

Mariano Castiglioni on “Como un Volcan”:

I wrote the lyrics for “Como un Volcan,” and when Angel was recording voices he also add some sentences. To us “Como un Volcan” means that strength that we feel in the creative process, that inner force that everybody feels. The riff is mine also, reminds me something between Slayer and Howlin’ Wolf — heavy blues, man!

The time at [Zar Estudio] was amazing. The studio looks like a small cave in the north of Buenos Aires, but at the same time was very stressing, at least for me. The difference with Blues del Destino is basically the production, the songs, the time. We work with a drum DR this time. I recorded with five different guitars, and Damian Colaprette was there all the time with us.

“Como un Volcan” is a good song to represent the album, we are proud of it, for me sounds a little bit a NWOBHM — I love that era — with our touch, of course.

MANTHRASS – Como un Volcan (SINGLE)
From “MAPA ESTELAR”
New album (2018)

MARIANO CASTIGLIONI, guitar and vocals
ÁNGEL RIZZO, bass and vocals
FEDERICO MARTÍNEZ, drums and backing vocals

Recorded, mixed and mastered by DAMIÁN COLAPRETTE at ZAR ESTUDIO
Artwork by MARIANO CASTIGLIONI
Design by Agustin Croxatto
Produced by DAMIÁN COLAPRETTE

BUSCANDO RECORDS

Manthrass on Bandcamp

Manthrass on Thee Facebooks

Manthrass on Twitter

Manthrass on Instagram

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