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XLR8R's Top 20 Downloads of April

After a brief break, we've decided to bring back our monthly series collecting the top tracks from XLR8R's ever-growing Downloads section. Our relaunch comes with a strong cast of contributions from veterans of the craft like Prefuse 73 (pictured above), Hyetal, and Arkist alongside an impressive group of newcomers including TÂCHES, Sleepyhead, and Habits of Hate, among others. Read more » 

Locals Only: Prins Thomas Shares His Five Favorite Spots in Oslo

Prins Thomas has been turning out records since 2005, yet the Norwegian producer still prefers to let his music—and his well-documented sense of humor—do most of the talking. His forthcoming third album, the simply titled III, is an effort Thomas describes as having "no great concept, no specific theme, no scheme, no plan... no space disco but still plenty of space." The LP is set to drop on April 28, and just a few weeks later, Thomas will be at the helm of 10 Years of Full Pupp, a compilation looking back at his label's first decade in action. Given this flurry of activity, we figured that the time was right to pick Thomas' brain for our Locals Only series. Although he continues to spend a lot of time on the road, Thomas still makes his home around Oslo; as such, we knew that he could nonetheless be counted upon to tell us about a few can't-miss spots in the Norwegian capital. Read more » 

20 Questions - Robert Hood Talks Underground Resistance, Kraftwerk, and Cheese Grits

An original member of Underground Resistance (alongside Jeff Mills and Mike Banks), an innovator in Detroit techno's heyday, and a pioneering DJ/producer with a 20-plus-year career that includes a wealth of ambitious projects including Floorplan and Monobox, Robert Hood has a resume that's all but impeccable. Now, we can add another accomplishment to the techno veteran's list, as 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of his M-Plant label, an outpost which has largely served as a home for Hood's own excursions into techno's evolving forms. With a number of upcoming reissues and events planned to celebrate M-Plant's two-decade milestone in the coming months, we decided that it was time to check in with the Motor City legend (who now calls Alabama home) via our 20 Questions series. Hood kindly agreed to answer our queries, some of which prompted him to pull out a few choice tales from his storied past. Over the course of our discussion, he looks back at Underground Resistance's early days, recalls the time when he "borrowed" a Kraftwerk record from Anthony Shakir, and describes his first meeting with Jeff Mills. Read more » 

Hi-Five - Dauwd Selects His Favorite Tunes from the Kompakt Catalog

Dauwd isn't a prolific artist. Since he first surfaced a few years back, the London-based producer has issued only a handful of releases, first via the Pictures Music label and later for Ghostly International. Still, even with a relatively small discography, Dauwd has managed to turn heads; last year, he popped up in one of our Bubblin' Up features, and in February, he announced that his latest EP, Kindlinn, would soon see the light of day via the storied Kompakt imprint. The three-track effort—which is currently streaming in full online—was officially released this week, so we invited Dauwd to mark the occasion by participating in our Hi-Five series. As his selections demonstrate, his choice to link up with Kompakt wasn't a random one; the label has been influential in shaping Dauwd's sound, and he's elected to honor that by choosing his five favorite selections from Kompakt's extensive catalog. Read more » 

20 Questions - Teebs Talks New Album, Low End Theory, and Playing 'Street Fighter' with Flying Lotus

Next week, E S T A R A, the sophomore LP from extraordinarily talented visual artist and producer Teebs (a.k.a. Mtendere Mandowa) is set to land via Brainfeeder. Four years after his debut LP appeared and quickly became regarded as a classic, Teebs is returning with a similarly compelling second full-length, one which finds the SoCal artist more carefully developing his hazy jaunts through autumnal sonics while enlisting the help of Prefuse 73, Jonti, and others across E S T A R A's 12 tracks. In anticipation of the upcoming album, we tapped Teebs for a session of 20 Questions, and got the patient producer to discuss the challenges of making his new album, recount when he met Brainfeeder boss Flying Lotus for the first time, and tell us why—of all people—Dracula is his personal hero. Read more » 

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