Like the heroic tugboat on its cover, Arktika – by Russian artist X.Y.R. – is a vehicle of vast power, packed into a minimal, maneuverable framework. Able to tow hundreds of times its own weight, the album carries dense loads of mood and emotion. With patient strength and effortless forward motion, the sounds of X.Y.R. cruise waters both tranquil and treacherous. Through a perfect storm of synth and rhythm, Arktika floats on, slowly but surely able to find its way home and tie back up to dry land. The cassette is part of Contellation Tatsu’s stellar Spring Batch of tapes, and features some of the most beautiful and delicate album art of the year so far.

• X.Y.R.: http://xyrmusic.bandcamp.com/album/arktika
• Constellation Tatsu: http://www.ctatsu.com

Ras G

“GMO Hoes” & “Agaveman”

It’s news to me that I’ve never covered Ras G. Is this real? Or maybe I’m just terrible at searching Google? Anyhow, Ras G been making beats for WAY longer that a minute, and has been on a slew of labels: Poo-Bah, Leaving, Brainfeeder, Hit+Run, disques corde, [it goes on]. Last year, he dropped a heavy tape on Leaving Records Raw Fruit Vol. 1, and followed it up earlier this year with Vol. 2. Now, I’m sure the outer-worldly prophet is in the works with plenty other releases, vinyls, spins, and switches, but Ras G just got both volumes of Raw Fruit released on double LP by Stones Throw Records. And not to stay the long-overdue obvious, but what a fitting title for the freshest to natural sweetness. Scope out two tracks from the tapes below, and head to Stones Throw Records ASAP for your double copy today!

• Ras G: http://afrikanspaceprogram.tumblr.com
• Leaving Records: http://leavingrecords.com
• Stone’s Throw Records: http://www.stonesthrow.com

Orlando Scarpa Neto

Imprevisibilidade do Pulso

Abandoned is the car that sits entangled in weeds along the forest line. Directionless limbs and leaves ensnare the machine under the window tarp and throughout the undercarriage mechanics. Within the trunk – based on the original position of tools and the spare tire and a beach chair, etc. – there appears to be a ratking-esque hidden world of vines and roots and stems mangled and dreaded together like cables. It’s like jazz of the natural world. Improvising off the soul beat of life on earth, and growing upon and around at the will of photosynthesis.

Notice the middle name above? Well, brother to TMT’s own Paulo Scarpa (and long-time sound sculptor), Orlando Scarpa Neto, released Imprevisibilidade do Pulso (Unpredictability of Pulse) this weekend in four parts beholding two titles: “Pulso interno” and “Pulso externo.” “Pulso interno I” and “Pulso interno II” grind away slowly at the listener, deeply rooting the pulsating innards of wire to spark to machine to controls. More like a slow-motion fire hose that’s been turned on and let loose. “Pulso externo I” and “Pulso externo II” are much more pleasant just on the outside. Looking into that car’s interior, exploring and pointing at the intricacies of vegetation, and admiring the process which becomes life

I’ve been following Orlando Scarpa Neto for a minute now, and am super stoked to be grippin’ this on a Monday after a weekend of “nothing-much, really.” Servers ain’t working at work, and my admiration for the Imprevisibilidade do Pulso is just continuing to grow! Find out for yourself and stream below:

• Orlando Scarpa Neto: http://orlandoscarpa.bandcamp.com

Circuit Rider UK

“Minimal Form”

Maybe the Circuit Rider of yore came a-knockin’, maybe they just wanted to shake things up. Perennial TMT favorites Derek Rogers (Los Angeles, CA) and Lee Noble (Nashville, TN) found nominal shelter across the pond — their collaborations now bear the moniker Circuit Rider UK. After the otherworldly incantations of last year’s Unit Holds, the duo return to Jehu and Chinaman for another tape of slowly evolving synth structures and occulted melodic drift. Their new release Alienist arrives in an absurdly limited edition of 60 copies, one of which will be easier for you to order if you live in the UK (fingers crossed that some end up in a stateside distro).

I listen to “Minimal Form” and I think “minimal schminimal.” So much happens here: a lattice of intersecting bleeps colludes with filter sweep squelches and loping bass pulses. The bleeps rocket into double time as a chord progression, tenuous and muffled, as if coaxed out of a busted pump-organ, threads its way through the proceedings, providing a new context for the extant elements to shade in. I lean back in delight as the layers compound in organic symbiosis and the atmosphere thickens. Call it “minimal,” fine, but compared to plenty of abstract, synth-based projects out there, Circuit Rider UK craft a dense nugget of alien “psych”-“pop” with all the drama and movement of a film’s title overture.

Alienist is out now via Jehu and Chinaman, and comes bundled with a killer bonus: a live set of the duo featuring American Primitive wunderkind Daniel Bachman on guitar.

• Derek Rogers: http://derekrogers.bandcamp.com
• Lee Noble: http://leenoble.bandcamp.com

Gucci Mane & Young Thug

Young Thugga Mane La Flare

“It’s holiday season, bitch!”

If there’s anything Gucci Mane cares about more than 4/20, it’s Easter Sunday. And on this Easter Sunday, one day after fetishists raided local record stores to buy rare, collectible, Discogs-ready releases (oops, we forgot to publish a guide!), Gucci Mane has released the family-friendly Young Thugga Mane La Flare mixtape with Young Thug. Appropriately enough, the mixtape — originally slated for an April 1 release — is hosted by DJ Holiday. Gucci Mane: cute as usual.

Download Young Thugga Mane La Flare here or stream it below.

• Gucci Mane: http://www.guccimaneonline.com
• Young Thug: https://twitter.com/youngthug


CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.