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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Soldati Announce New Single “El Nudo en la Soga” Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

sergio ch soldati in studio

Soldati check in from the studio to inform that they’ve been working on a new single to be titled El Nudo en la Soga that’s set to be released as a seven-incher via South American Sludge Records hopefully by the end of this year. Based in Buenos Aires, the trio is led by guitarist/vocalist Sergio Chotsourian, who of course is the head of South American Sludge and known for his work over the years in outfits like Los Natas, Ararat and more recently his own Sergio Ch. solo-project, which released its second album, Aurora (review here), late last year.

With Soldati, Chotsourian steps back into more of a rock frontman role, as the three-piece showed on their self-titled debut EP (discussed here), also issued in 2016. That four-track outing varied its approach almost on a per-song basis, but in so doing set up an aesthetic scope that one expects will continue to expand with El Nudo en la Soga when it arrives. Comprised of its title-track and a redux of Chotsourian‘s solo piece “El Latigo y las Riendas,” the new offering was recorded and mixed analog at El Attic Studio and helmed by Patricio Claypole.

Below you’ll find a couple pics of from the studio and confirmation of the above. More to come, including audio, as we get closer to the release, but if you missed it, you can check out Soldati‘s recent video for prior-EP-opener “La Electricidad del Arbol Caido” (originally premiered here) at the bottom of this post.

Dig it:

SOLDATI – New 7″ Coming Soon

Songs are “El Nudo en la Soga” and electric version of my piano intimate “El Latigo y las Riendas.” Recorded and mixed all analog tape 2 inch for a future single release on 7 inch vinyl thru South American Sludge Records.

Studio name is El Attic and the tracks were produced by Patricio Claypole, former Los Natas crew.

Soldati represents an intense and solid ride; a concept of heavy rock taken to the extreme, with strong lyrics, dark and visceral sound; continuing anew what Natas has bequeathed. A new journey and a new experience for lovers of Argentine stoner.

SOLDATI LINEUP:
Sergio Ch. – guitar/vocals
Lukas Hospital – bass
Ranz – drums

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

Soldati, “La Electricidad del Arbol Caido” official video

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Soldati Premiere Video for “La Electricidad del Arbol Caido”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

soldati la electricidad del arbol caido video

There was a lot to dig about the 2016 self-titled debut EP (discussed here) from Buenos Aires trio Soldati. Enough that I considered it high among last year’s best short releases. Somewhere between a demo and a short-album-style flow, it marked the first recording (no prior singles or anything like that) from the newcomer Argentina three-piece, which is fronted by Sergio Chotsourian — best known as the guitarist/vocalist for Los Natas, but now a label head for South American Sludge Records, bassist/vocalist in Ararat and solo artist as well, operating under his long-adopted Sergio Ch. moniker — and found them dug into low-end dense heavy rock from the very start of opening track “La Electricidad del Arbol Caido.”

Perhaps building in part — at least in terms of Chotsourian‘s own contributions; Soldati is rounded out by bassist Lukas Hospital and drummer Ranz — on the direction of the most recent Ararat full-length, 2014’s Cabalgata Hacia la Luz (review here), the four-tracker proffered rawer fare. Still some sense of atmosphere, particularly in the more spacious closer “El Pastor de las Hormigas,” which followed the galloping “Los Secretos de Shiva,” but the abiding impression was something closer to a Chotsourian-minted vision of heavy garage rock. Both neatly topping eight minutes in length, “La Electricidad del Arbol Caido” and “Whiskey Negro” (video posted here) set this vibe in motion, the former with a fervent nod and push that, by the time the song is halfway through, is as much punk as it is heavy rock. Brash. Raucous. Topped late with some abrasive whistling lead. Purely badass.

The whole release is available digitally on the South American Sludge Bandcamp — physical media may or may not be in the works or may already exist, or they may simply just move onto the next offering, whatever form that will ultimately take — but with footage from the 1977 animated film Wizards (aka Los Hechiceros de la Guerra), Soldati are giving listeners another chance to get introduced to the EP. Whether you’re a longtime follower of Chotsourian‘s output or someone for whom Soldati‘s Soldati would be a first exposure, I can only recommend you take advantage of the opportunity.

Thanks to Sergio Ch. for letting me host the video premiere below.

I hope you enjoy:

Soldati, “La Electricidad del Arbol Caido” official video

OFFICIAL VIDEO OF THE DISC OF SOLDATI – “SOLDATI”
PRODUCED BY SERGIO CH.
VIDEO PERFORMED BY LUCAS MARTINEZ WITH IMAGES OF THE FILM “LOS HECHICEROS DE LA GUERRA”

SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS

SERGIO CH. – Guitar & Vocals
LUKAS HOSPITAL – Bass
RANZ – Drums

Soldati on Thee Facebooks

Soldati on Bandcamp

South American Sludge Records on Thee Facebooks

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The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2016

Posted in Features on December 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk top 20 short releases

Please note: This post is not culled in any way from the Year-End Poll, which is ongoing. If you haven’t yet contributed your favorites of 2016 to that, please do.

Yeah, I know I said as much when the Top 20 Debut Albums of 2016 went up, but I take it back: this is the hardest list to put together. And to be honest, there’s a part of me that’s hesitant even to post it because I know as soon as I do someone’s going to be like, “No way you dick your entire existence is shit because you forgot Release X,” and very likely they’ll be right. Up to the very moment this post is going live, I’ve been making changes, and I expect I’ll continue to do so for a while after it’s out there.

So what’s a “short release?” That’s another issue. Pretty much anything that’s not an album. Singles, digital or physical, as well as EPs, splits, demos, and so on. The category becomes nebulous, but my general rule is if it’s not a full-length, it qualifies as a short release. Sounds simple until you get into things like, “Here’s a track I threw up on Bandcamp,” and “This only came out as a bonus included as a separate LP with the deluxe edition of our album.” I’m telling you, I’ve had a difficult time.

Maybe that’s just me trying to protect myself from impending wrath. This year’s Top 30 albums list provoked some vehement — and, if I may, prickishly-worded — responses, so I might be a bit gunshy here, but on the other hand, I think these outings are worth highlighting, so we’re going forward anyway. If you have something to add, please use the comments below, but remember we’re all friends here and there’s a human being on the other end reading what’s posted. Thanks in advance for that.

And since this is the last list of The Obelisk’s Best-of-2016 coverage, I’ll say thanks for reading as well. More to come in the New Year, of course.

Here we go:

scissorfight chaos county

The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2016

1. Scissorfight, Chaos County EP
2. Earthless / Harsh Toke, Split
3. Mars Red Sky, Providence EP
4. Mos Generator, The Firmament
5. Soldati, Soldati
6. Monolord, Lord of Suffering / Die in Haze EP
7. Wren, Host EP
8. Goya, The Enemy EP
9. The Sweet Heat, Demo
10. River Cult, Demo
11. Stinkeye, Llantera Demos
12. Megaritual, Eclipse EP
13. Ragged Barracudas / Pushy, Split
14. Mindkult, Witchs’ Oath EP
15. Iron Jawed Guru, Mata Hari EP
16. Brume, Donkey
17. Bison Machine / Wild Savages / SLO, Sweet Leaves Vol. 1 Split
18. BoneHawk / Kingnomad, The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Three Split
19. Wicked Gypsy, EP
20. Love Gang, Love Gang EP

Honorable Mention

An expansive category as ever. In addition to what’s above, the following stood out and no doubt more will be added over the course of the next few days. If you feel something is missing, please let me know.

Presented alphabetically:

Cambrian Explosion, The Moon EP
Candlemass, Death Thy Lover EP
Cultist, Cultist EP
Danava, At Midnight You Die 7″
Dos Malés, Dos Malés EP
Druglord, Deepest Regrets EP
Fu Manchu, Slow Ride 7″
Geezer, A Flagrant Disregard for Happiness 12″
Gorilla vs. Grifter, Split
Holy Smoke, Holy Smoke! It’s a Demo!
Karma to Burn, Mountain Czar
LSD and the Search for God, Heaven is a Place EP
Pallbearer, Fear and Fury
Reign of Zaius, Planet Of…
Sea of Bones / Ramlord, Split
Shallows, The Moon Rises
The Skull, EP
Snowy Dunes, “Atlantis Part I” digital single
Sun Voyager / The Mad Doctors, Split
Valborg, Werwolf 7″

Notes

Was it just the raw joy of having Scissorfight back? No, but that was for sure part of it. It was also the brazenness with which the New Hampshire outfit let go of their past, particularly frontman Christopher “Ironlung” Shurtleff, and moved forward unwilling to compromise what they wanted to do that made their Chaos County so respectable in my eyes. Having always flourished in the form, they delivered an EP of classic Scissorfight tunes and issued a stiff middle finger to anyone who would dare call them otherwise. They couldn’t have been more themselves no matter who was in the band.

At the same time, it was a hard choice between that and the Earthless / Harsh Toke split for the top spot. I mean, seriously. It’s Earthless — who at this point are the godfathers of West Coast jamadelica — and Harsh Toke, who are among the style’s most engaging upstart purveyors, each stretching out over a huge and encompassing single track. I couldn’t stop listening to that one if I wanted to, and as the year went on, I found I never wanted to.

I was glad when Mars Red Sky included the title-track of the Providence EP as a bonus cut on their subsequent album, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul), both because it tied the two releases together even further and because it gave me another opportunity to hear it every time I listened to the record. Their short releases have always shown significant character apart from their full-lengths, and this was no exception. I still tear up when I hear “Sapphire Vessel.”

To bounce around a bit: Had to get Mos Generator on the list for the progressive expansion of the live-recorded The Firmament. Stickman was right to put that out on vinyl. Both Monolord and Goya provided quick outings of huge riffs to sate their respective and growing followings, while Megaritual’s Eclipse basked in drone serenity and the debut release from Sergio Ch.’s Soldati provided hard-driving heavy rock with the particular nuance for which the former Los Natas frontman is known. It’s the highest among a slew of first/early outings — see also The Sweet Heat, Wren (Host was their second EP), River Cult’s demo, Stinkeye, Mindkult, Iron Jawed Guru, Brume, Wicked Gypsy and Love Gang.

Ultimately, there were fewer splits on the list this year than last year, but I’ll credit that to happenstance more than any emergent bias against the form or lack of quality in terms of what actually came out. The BoneHawk and Kingnomad release, the Ragged Barracudas and Pushy split, and that heavy rocking onslaught from Bison Machine and company were all certainly welcome by me, and I’ll mention Gorilla vs. Grifter there too again, just because it was awesome.

One more time, thank you for reading, and if you have something to add, please do so in the comments below. Your civility in that regard is appreciated.

This is the last of my lists for 2016, but the Readers Poll results are out Jan. 1 and the New Year hits next week and that brings a whole new round of looking-forward coverage, so stay tuned.

As always, there’s much more to come.

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Soldati Post “Whisky Negro” Video Filmed Live in Buenos Aires

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 7th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

soldati-whisky-negro

“Whisky Negro” was second of the four songs included earlier this year on the self-titled debut EP (discussed here) from Buenos Aires trio Soldati. Released, of course, through frontman Sergio Chotsourian‘s imprint, South American Sludge Records, the initial public offering was marked out by a straightforward heavy rock drive that seemed stripped down even compared to some of what Chotsourian‘s old band, Los Natas, used to offer, and certainly more barebones than the lush-toned heavy roll of subsequent outfit Ararat, bassist Lukas Hospital and drummer Ranz pushing the tracks ahead with a fervent gallop and a conscious impatience that suits their fuzz and winding rhythms well. In short, it rocked.

As such, it seems appropriate that the official video for “Whisky Negro” should have been recorded live. Chotsourian had engineered and produced the EP himself, so in addition to getting to see the trio perform the song, we also get to hear a different version than that which was included on the studio release, captured at the Motoclub Bar in Buenos Aires. His vocals still seem to surf the track’s central riff, but it’s easy to get a sense of how the bass, guitar and drums mesh together behind the lyrics, and of course since it’s live, there’s an energy to the delivery that’s largely inimitable in any other kind of recording. Yeah, it’s kind of raw, but that’s the point. If Soldati didn’t want it to be raw, they probably would’ve overlaid the studio version of the cut and been done with it. These things don’t happen by mistake.

Very interested to hear what Soldati come up with for a full-length debut when the time arrives. Hopefully that’s sooner than later — 2017 would be nice, not that I’ve heard anything in that direction — but until then, you can dig into “Whisky Negro” below, followed by more info come down the PR wire and run through a major internet corporation’s translation matrix.

Enjoy:

Soldati, “Whisky Negro” official video

SOLDATI first official video of the new band SERGIO Chotsourian, recorded live at the legendary cycle MOTOCLUB 2016 edition BAR Club V.

He holds the rawness and honesty that transmits the live band as a trio of SLUDGE NACIONAL, without claiming more than convey a real, heavy, visceral and mystical experience.

Made by Cristian Conti and Matias Paniagua for SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS.

“Whisky Negro” is part of the first EP of 4 songs from the band, digitally edited on Bandcamp of SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS earlier this year and produced by the same SERGIO CH.

SERGIO CH. – Guitar & Vocals
LUKAS HOSPITAL – Bass
RANZ – Drums

Soldati on Bandcamp

South American Sludge Records on Thee Facebooks

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Sergio Ch. to Release New Album Aurora Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 26th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

A couple years ago, Sergio Chotsourian, formerly of Los Natas and currently of Soldati, Ararat, his Sergio Ch. solo work and South American Sludge Records issued a two-song release called Aurora. It was digital-only and I’m just going to assume that the new version of Aurora due to be issued as a CD/DL next month — on South American Sludge and Pirámide Records — is built off that. The opening title track, on the 2013 original, was over 19 minutes long, an experiment in drone looping topped off with echoing vocals, creating a pretty vast space. “El Herrero,” though much shorter, kept a similar mindset, just didn’t take it to quite the same lengths, blending it instead with Sergio Ch.‘s well established memorable songwriting.

I don’t know whether Aurora — the 2016 version — will work in the same way. If I had to guess, I’d imagine it will work along reasonably similar lines to how his 1974 full-length (review here) was issued first in a sort of demo form and then built out to be a complete album. The addition of other tracks here and instrumentation gives some clue as to the overall intent toward a fuller sound, but of course we won’t actually know until it’s out.

If you don’t already keep your eye on the South American Sludge Bandcamp page (linked below), it’s a treasure trove of underground heavy in a variety of styles from Argentina and beyond that’s easily worth your time and support. Just a word to the wise.

Album info follows. It’s in Spanish, but I’m pretty sure you can figure out what “guitarra” means, even if your language skills are as limited as mine:

sergio ch aurora

Sergio Ch. – Aurora [CD] [S.A.S. 050]

Tracklist:
01 Aurora
02 El Herrero
03 La Heroina
04 Aurora II
05 El Laud
06 El Llano

Sergio Ch. – Guitarra & Vocals
Milagros Arrom – Guitarra & Metalofon

Grabado y mezclado por Sergio Ch. en Death Studios
Masterizado por Patricio Claypole en Estudio El Attic
Artwork por Sergio Ch.
Producido por Sergio Ch.

South American Sludge Records, Pirámide Records (2016)

https://www.facebook.com/SASRECORDSARGENTINA/
https://sergiochblog.wordpress.com/south-american-sludge-records/
https://sasrecords.bandcamp.com/

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Soldati Release Self-Titled EP on South American Sludge

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 15th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

soldati

Led by Sergio Chotsourian of Ararat and Los NatasSoldati are a new trio whose debut EP has just been released. Offered up through Sergio‘s label, South American Sludge, it’s a four-song offering that runs a gamut between heavy and harsh, deep low end pushing air through speakers with a rawness captured through a DIY recording. Given some of the expanses Ararat has covered in their last couple records, Soldati feels like a reaction the other way; driving barebones grooves right into the listener from the start of “La Electridad del Arbol Caido” and leaving nothing to regret on any of the songs that follow, even if they can’t help incorporate some melody along the way.

Sergio Ch. is joined in Soldati by bassist Lukas Hospital and drummer Ranz, and the three-piece will make their live debut this weekend at Club Plasma in Buenos Aires. If you don’t already follow South American Sludge on Bandcamp, now’s as good a time as any. Aside from releasing Sergio‘s solo record, 1974 (which I’m still hoping to review one of these days), he gets behind a lot of cool stuff from Argentina and beyond. Here’s the announcement for Soldati and the stream of the tracks from said Bandcamp page:

soldati soldati

Soldati is the new band of Sergio Chotsourian [Los Natas, Ararat], his return to the SG guitars, to tube amps. Registered stoner, doom and sludge nacional.

Soldati represents an intense and solid ride; a concept of heavy rock taken to the extreme, with strong lyrics, dark and visceral sound; continuing anew what Natas has bequeathed. A new journey and a new experience for lovers of Argentine stoner.

SOLDATI LINEUP:
Sergio Ch. – guitar/vocals
Lukas Hospital – bass
Ranz – drums

Tracklisting:
1. La Electridad del Arbol Caido
2. Whiskey Negro
3. Los Secretos de Shiva
4. El Pastor de las Hormigas

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Sergio Ch. in Death Studios. Artwork by Sergio Ch. Produced by Sergio Ch. South American Sludge Records.

https://www.facebook.com/SOLDATIDOOMNACIONAL
https://sasrecords.bandcamp.com/album/soldati
https://www.facebook.com/events/451666455022072/

Soldati, Demo (2016)

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