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.

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Natas, Delmar (1998)

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Los Natas, Death Sessions: Reflexiones

Posted in Reviews on March 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

los-natas-death-sessions

Pressed in an edition of 750 green translucent LPs, Death Sessions begins with a faded-in wash of cymbals, a warm bassline, and soon unfolds a special stage in the life cycle of one of Argentina’s most pivotal heavy rock acts — definitely of their generation and perhaps of all time. Buenos Aires trio Los Natas released five proper studio full-lengths in their decade and a half together, as well numerous jam collections, shorter offerings, EPs, splits, compilations and so on, and their work ranged from the pivotal desert fuzz of their 1996/1998 debut, Delmar (discussed here), on Man’s Ruin Records, to the socially conscious motor-thrust of 2009’s Nuevo Orden de la Libertad (review here), on Small Stone, never failing to offer something different and distinct along the way.

The three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Sergio Chotsourian — see also: AraratSoldati, his Sergio Ch. solo work, etc. — bassist Gonzalo Villagra and drummer Walter Broide called it a day circa 2012 after the 2011 release of the compilation Rutation (review here), but their influence has continued to thrive particularly in South America, where Chotsourian has spent the last several years building his label, South American Sludge Records, as a go-to outlet for underground heavy rock from the across the continent. Death Sessions comes stamped with a South American Sludge logo on it, arrives simultaneously with a reissue of the 2002 third album from Los NatasCorsario Negro — also limited in its number — and again, finds Los Natas at a very particular point in their career. Tracked live in its eight-track entirety, mixed and mastered by Patricio Claypole at Estudio El Attic, it captures the last time they were in the recording studio together.

As to what they were doing in the studio that day in 2010, I’m not entirely sure. Four out of the eight inclusions on Death Sessions come from Nuevo Orden de la Libertad — that’s “Las Campanadas” and “Nuevo Orden de la Libertad” on side A and “Ganar-Perder” and “10.000” on side B — and the rest of the material derives, one song each, from the rest of their full-length catalog, so the clearest impression from the platter is that what we’re hearing is a live set being rehearsed. Why this particular rehearsal wound up being recorded, I couldn’t say. Maybe Los Natas were a band who always tracked their practices, as some do. If so, there should be countless such tapes out there, but Death Sessions of course feels special for both its context as well as for the immediacy of the three-piece’s delivery. Hearing songs like “Soma” from Delmar at the outset of side A feeding into “Las Campanadas” or hearing the track “Rutation,” which originally appeared on their second album, 1999’s Ciudad de Brahman (discussed here), close out after “10.000” not only shows the stylistic swath that Los Natas covered during their years together, but underscores how much their sound was their own across that time.

los natas

A live set ideally would function much the same. But live sets come and go. The difference with Death Sessions is in the clarity of the presentation. True, they grew tonally rawer over their records, moving away from the sandy warmth of their early work to incorporate influences from punk rock, Motörhead, and so on, but Death Sessions gives them an opportunity to draw the various sides of their personality together. “Humo Negro del Vaticano” from 2006’s El Hombre Montaña seems to find middle ground between the quieter opening of “Soma” and “10.000” still to come as it rounds out side A, and this is preserved it in a way that even a concert film — which would certainly be welcome but inherently about more than just the audio progression of the band — couldn’t do.

From the tiny stops in the winding riff of “Nuevo Orden de la Libertad” to the soothing patience in “Ganar-Perder” and the psychedelic mini-jam at the end, leading to the crashes at the start of the rolling, jazzy tempo-play of “El Cono del Encono” from Corsario Negro with Broide joining Chotsourian on vocals, Death Sessions ends up summarizing Los Natas‘ career in a way more fitting than even a greatest-hits-type compilation couldn’t, because it unites the songs in tone and performance, rather than simply drawing from various studio sources or other recordings.

Chotsourian leads a trail-off jam at the end of “El Cono del Encono” as well, which brings “10.000” around to reground the proceedings with a more straightforward push ahead of the finale, following that uptick in energy with another punkish drive, building in speed as it gets going, headed for a chaotic crash. This very obviously isn’t the first time Los Natas have finished a set with “Rutation,” and they seem to have a good time with it, adding some swing to the delivery, Chotsourian and Broide shouting out lines together. It’s a last bit of fun that, again, in the context of this being the final time Los Natas would record, puts emphasis on their chemistry, which if there’s an underlying message to Death Sessions at all, it’s that that’s where the emphasis belongs.

I’ll be blunt and say I continue to hope for a Los Natas reunion. As a fan of the band across the sundry points of their development, I think they broke up when they still had more to offer sonically, and to me, they seem all the more relevant now in the half-decade that’s passed since they stopped. A new album, whatever form it ultimately would take, feels like a prospect that would only build on their legacy. Whether or not that will happen, I don’t know and won’t speculate, but especially as a piece for fans, Death Sessions reinforces much of what made Los Natas so special in the first place. Though it may have been recorded in happenstance — that is, the band may or may not have known their time together was coming to a close — as a document of who they were and what they did, it is fortunate these songs and this moment can be so righteously preserved.

Los Natas, “El Cono del Encono” official video

Los Natas on Thee Facebooks

Los Natas website

South American Sludge on Thee Facebooks

South American Sludge Records on Bandcamp

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Friday Full-Length: Natas, Ciudad de Brahman

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 27th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Natas, Ciudad de Brahman (1999)

I’ve made no attempt to hide my fandom for Los Natas over the years. Their 1996 debut, Delmar, has closed weeks on two separate occasions (see here and here), and stands among my personal favorite records, period. House burning, only time to save the Kyuss or the Natas, I pick the latter every time, and not just because I can re-buy the Kyuss records either. I was fortunate enough to see them live at Roadburn 2010, as much as one could see anything with the room so dark, and between chasing down their rare-cuts offerings like Rutation (review here) and putting their last album, 2009’s Nuevo Orden de la Libertad (review here), among the top of that year’s best — a trend that has continued as guitarist/vocalist Sergio Chotsourian has gone on to release three albums with his new band, Ararat, in the years since — the nerding-out has really only continued. As I check the mail to look for a Sergio Ch. solo record to review, I doubt it will abate anytime soon.

So when I tell you that 1999’s Ciudad de Brahman is a special album, understand I’m speaking as a fan of the band’s work front to back. Progressed from the laid back desert sands of Delmar to something harder-edged but still offering plenty of serenity, the 14-track offering would set up the rawer heavy style that began to show itself from their third record, 2002’s Corsario Negro, through the subsequent 2006 outing El Hombre Montaña and of course on El Nuevo Orden de la Libertad as well, the quiet, jammy explorations having found an outlet in the interim in other releases like Toba Trance I and II and München Sessions, all of which were issued between 2003 and 2005.

Like its predecessor, Ciudad de Brahman was put out in North America by Man’s Ruin Records, and between its instrumental stretches, songs like “Brisa del Desierto,” “Meteoro 2028,” the stomping “Alohawaii” and its eight-minute instrumental/longest track opener “Carl Sagan,” Natas‘ second (also their final before adding the Los) full-length is a rich summary of the varied sound they’d come to hone over their years together, Chotsourian and drummer Walter Broide working with a couple different bassists, including Miguel Fernandez here and Gonzalo “Crudo” Villagra in the band’s final (to-date) incarnation. As always, I hope you enjoy.

Took a full day off yesterday, which is something I don’t ordinarily allow myself to do, but there was a lot of travel involved. In the morning, The Patient Mrs., the little dog Dio and I rolled down from Massachusetts to Connecticut to do her family’s Thanksgiving dinner, and last night, from there, down to New Jersey, where we’ll essentially repeat the process today. Back north tomorrow.

It would be fine, but I’m having a flareup in my right ankle — you might recall I fell early this year, but that’s more a symptom than the root cause — that is remarkably painful and has kind of played havoc on the idea of walking, which, you know, one might do on a family holiday occasion, even if it’s just to the kitchen and back. Yesterday was an adventure, I expect today will be likewise. Every day is in one way or another.

I guess that’s my way of noting why I’m closing out the week early today, because basically I’m on my way out the door and over to see my family, with perhaps a quick stop off for a coffee and an ace bandage along the way. Monday, check back for Chron Goblin‘s new video, which I’m sure you’ve already seen but is fun nonetheless, and a full-album stream from We Lost the Sea. Tuesday, the Readers Poll goes up, so I guess it’s the kickoff for list season. Might try to do year’s-best-art in the next week or so. Still have a bunch of reviews waiting as well for Bevar SeaKindBedroom Rehab Corporation, and so on. I’ll do my best to squeeze in as much as I can when I can.

Thanks for reading, have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

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Friday Full-Length: Natas, Delmar

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 20th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Natas, Delmar (1996)

I know there are those who swing other ways when it comes to Natas, the formative Argentinian desert rockers who’d later add a Los to the front of their name, but to my ears, their debut Delmar is one of the most gorgeous albums I’ve ever heard. Seriously. I have affection for that record over most. If you’re more into the second one, Ciudad de Brahman, or maybe Corsario Negro or something they did thereafter, that’s awesome too. I’m certainly on board for the whole discography — my most recent welcome addition was the Rutation collection of previously unreleased material — but tonight, with how sweltering hot it’s been all day, it had to be Delmar to close out the week. It’s like I can hear the heat bearing down on me. Or maybe that’s sunstroke.

My alarm was set for 5 this morning, but I woke up at 4:57AM and agonized for two minutes before preempting it at 4:59. I wanted to get to work early in no small part to post the Carpet review and that interview with Steve Janiak from Devil to Pay. No regrets, but holy fucking shit I’m tired. At noon, The Patient Mrs. — who was coming up to Boston anyway to attend a wedding tonight — met me at my office and we split out to try to beat traffic northbound. Six-plus hours of traffic and intermittently cutting out A/C later, the little dog and I checked into the hotel where we’re staying after dropping The Patient Mrs. off at the aforementioned nuptials. I was tired then. Then I went and saw Hey Zeus, The Scimitar and The Brought Low at Radio. I’m even more tired now as we push toward 1:30AM. Go figure.

Next week though, a review of that show — spoiler alert: it was killer — and writeups on the new Trouble, The Flying Eyes and Black Willows records, one way or another. Also want to get something up on the Black Mare tape which is a solo-project from Sera Timms of Black Math Horseman and Ides of Gemini that’s ambientastic. Also a Lo-Pan check-in with drummer Jesse Bartz (always good to talk to him) ahead of next weekend’s The Eye of the Stoned Goat 3 in Brooklyn and I’m gonna put this one all in bold because I want it to stand out so someone might actually read it:

There’s a big surprise coming on Tuesday. I can’t say what it is yet but I think and hope you’ll dig it. Nothing’s ever 100 percent and things fall through, but I’m way stoked.

Speaking of things falling through, my housing plans. While we’re in Boston anyway, since we’re moving to Massachusetts in, oh, a week and a half, maybe it’s high time The Patient Mrs. and I found a place to live. After that house we were going to buy shit the proverbial bed — or at least poisoned it with carcinogenic gasoline additives — we now need to find a rental, and quick. Tomorrow’s the day. The truck and the movers are booked for next weekend. It’s tomorrow or it’s… well, Sunday, I guess. But definitely tomorrow’s preferable. The sooner the better.

So while we’re doing that, I hope like crazy you have a safe, terrific weekend. I’ll be back on Monday with more typo-laden riff worship.

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Buried Treasure and Redscroll in Autumn

Posted in Buried Treasure on October 25th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

When last I checked in with Wallingford, Connecticut‘s Redscroll Records, I walked out of there with a cassette copy of Torche‘s Meanderthal Demos. It’s a purchase I still consider the right move to have made, and as my most recent trip there was most likely going to be my last until Springtime, I figured I’d make the best of it. A thorough search of Redscroll‘s used section has done me right on numerous occasions, and this latest was no different. Dig this haul:

Bottom, Made in Voyage
Chrome Locust, Chrome Locust
Clutch, Jam Room
Fu Manchu, Daredevil
Jethro Tull, Aqualung
Lost Breed, Save Yourself
Lost Goat, Equator
My Dying Bride, Turn Loose the Swans
Natas, Delmar
The Obsessed, The Obsessed
Spiritual Beggars, Ad Astra

A few of those CDs I already own, but there are difference. The Fu Manchu is the original Bong Load Records version, where before I only had the reissue, and though it’s my third copy of Jam Room — probably my least favorite Clutch album — it’s the River Road Records pressing, and I think they only made six of them or something, so I was stoked to find it. Ad Astra is the Music for Nations digipak edition, and Chrome Locust is in a jewel case, where I’d only ever seen the digipak, so I grabbed that as well. The Jethro Tull had a sticker on it that it was the first CD issue, which made it too good to pass up. If you’re wondering, by the way, whether or not I believe everything I read on stickers stuck to jewel cases: Yes. Yes I do.

Lost Goat is on Man’s Ruin and I didn’t already own it, so that was a given. The Natas record I thought might have been a different catalog number than mine, but no, it’s a genuine double. I was bummed out on that until the other night when I thought to myself, “Gee, I sure would like to listen to the first Natas album,” and I actually had a copy on me because I was holding onto it to write about today. Maybe one just wasn’t enough.

Of the two Hellhound Records purchases, the highlight is unquestionably The Obsessed‘s The Obsessed. I had the Tolotta reissue previously, but you can’t beat the original. I had seen it for sale on Redscroll‘s eBay store, and asked if I could buy it right there in the shop. They were more than accommodating. The other Hellhound album, Lost Breed‘s Save Yourself, was the US version, where I’d only had the European before. Or maybe that’s reversed. I don’t know. The catalog numbers and back cover art are different. Apparently that’s enough for me these days.

I legitimately hadn’t owned the Bottom or My Dying Bride CDs (or the Lost Goat, which was meh), and I was stoked especially to hear the former, which didn’t disappoint. Crazy to think it’s been five years since Bottom put out their last album, but I suppose it has. Hearing their debut for the first time, it was easy to tell what Rise Above, Man’s Ruin and Small Stone all saw in the band, and by that I mean killer riffs and lethal groove. An excellent capper for an even more excellent haul.

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