The Ten Most Underrated Acts of Ultra 2016

Here we come, Ultra 2016.
Here we come, Ultra 2016.
Photo by George Martinez

The term “underrated” is relative. One could argue that the Beatles are underrated considering Parliament hasn’t renamed Liverpool after them. But for our purposes here, let's boil it down to this: an artist who is not getting the attention he or she deserves.

These days, DJ rankings tend to be synonymous with Facebook likes. But at this year's Ultra Music Festival, some of the most intriguing acts are not in the boldest font. To find the real talent, one has to look in unconventional places, so we compiled an international collection of artists that might not be on most people’s radar but should be on yours.

Rabbit in the Moon hasn't played Ultra in more than five years.
Rabbit in the Moon hasn't played Ultra in more than five years.
Photo by George Martinez

10. Rabbit in the Moon
For those who know, it would be blasphemy to say RITM is underrated, but it’s been a while since Bunny and David Christophere have taken the UMF stage. Through the years, the Tampa duo has played ten Ultra shows, the last taking place in 2010. “More than half of the music is new, and of course we’ll play some classics,” David Christophere tells us. “We are ready to bring the magic of Rabbit in the Moon to a new audience as well as our longtime loyal fans. Everyone there will experience something new and surprising.” No dance-music act has even come close to RITM from a performance standpoint. David Christophere’s mixing and Bunny’s theatrics were a UMF highlight for years. The show is something you have to see to understand. But luckily the magic of Rabbit is back.

All eyes on deadmau5.
All eyes on deadmau5.
Photo Courtesy of Get In PR

9. Deadmau5
OK, before you head to the comment section, hear us out. We should all be eagerly watching Deadmau5’s upcoming trance set at Ultra, if only for the pure drama of the situation. What started as Joel Zimmerman’s Twitter beef of the week has become something real. On July 10, 2014, @deadmau5 took a digital shot at Armin van Buuren's weekly radio show, ASOT (A State of Trance), when he Tweeted, “ASOT is about as much 'trance' as Nelson Mandela is indie punk.” To which van Buuren replied, “Why don't you come and play #ASOT700 and show us what 'trance' is? Or backing out again?” Now, two years later, Deadmau5 is on the ASOT Ultra lineup to (hopefully) give us a proper trance set that sounds like something from the genre’s late-'90s heyday. Be assured, the #trancefamily will be listening closely and be ready to rip his mau5head off if it sucks. But we believe in you, Joel!

Marc Kinchen, AKA MK.
Marc Kinchen, AKA MK.
Courtesy of The Windish Agency

8. MK
So many artists were influenced by Depeche Mode – Marc Kinchen, known as MK onstage, is one of those artists. He grew up in Detroit, ground zero for house music, and would eventually learn from the great Kevin Saunderson himself. MK is long recognized for his signature sound and remixes. “I know I’m going to play my new record with Becky Hill, 'Piece of Me,' along with my RÜFÜS DU SOL remix for 'Say a Prayer for Me,'” Kinchen tells us about what to expect during his Ultra set. “We’re in Miami so I want it to be hot, full of soul and house music. I will be playing a few things that will be familiar, along with a few things that are brand new. I don’t like to plan my exact sets; I like to keep it loose in case I’m feeling something different once the show goes on – that way I can change it up.”

Ruben Den Boer and Victor Pool.
Ruben Den Boer and Victor Pool.
Photo by rutgerprins.com

7. Vicetone
Together, Ruben Den Boer and Victor Pool are Vicetone. And, yes, we're sorry to throw yet another pair of Dutch DJs your way, but, well, they deserve the credit. This is Vicetone's third consecutive appearance at Ultra. The duo's song “United We Dance” was the soundtrack to the official 2014 Ultra aftermovie. But this year, they tell us that that they're excited about catching another Ultra act. “We want to check out Eric Prydz. He's been a childhood favorite of ours, and it's amazing to see that he's still going strong.”

Homie can play the flute.
Homie can play the flute.
Photo Courtesy of Get In PR

6. Morten
Morten came to Miami two months ago for Life in Color Miami. He had just released his new track, “Beautiful Heartbeat,” featuring Frida Sundemo. It was well-received then, and it’s still going strong. Originally from Denmark, Morten is now living in Los Angeles and is making his tenth trip to Miami Music Week. Getting his start in Denmark, Morten would DJ four days a week till 6 a.m. He’s classically trained to play the flute, has been DJ'ing since he was 13, and returns to Miami with momentum, an Ultra act worth your time.



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