The Ten Most Underrated Acts of III Points 2016

Regrettably, it’s still 2016, and on top of all the awful news this awful year has given us, music festivals are dying — at least according to some cynics. They point to the repetitive lineups and increasingly corporate vibe at major affairs such as Bonnaroo and Ultra as evidence of their lost relevance. After all, if Coachella is spending its money propping up the ancient, bloated corpse of Axl Rose, and the New York Times (not exactly the hippest cat on the scene) has decided not to cover mainstream festivals at all, things can’t be going very well, right?

Wrong. For one, we still have III Points.

Packing all the punch of a sprawling weekend getaway into the streets of Wynwood, this year’s edition of the rising Miami event is poised to be the best yet. III Points 2016 will feature not only the confluence of art, tech, and local acts that give it its character, but also a lineup swarming with unconventional talents from all over the globe playing electronica, hip-hop, and even some rock. It’s a bill that runs deep, including eclectic, under-the-radar performers alongside headliners such as LCD Soundsystem and M83.

Here are ten acts from that bill we suspect might not be on your radar — but most definitely should.
10. Pantha du Prince

Though his homeland, Germany, may be known for its love of grim, insular techno, Pantha du Prince takes a more relaxed approach to dance music, blending the hard and soft of house with influences from the indie world such as Panda Bear (featured on 2010’s “Stick to My Side”) and My Bloody Valentine. His 2016 album, The Triad, provides listeners with spacious arrangements that adorn melodic bass lines with twinkling bells. He also does something decidedly un-German and delivers his art with a sense of humor, as seen in track titles like “You What? Euphoria!”

9. Dawn of Midi

Ever seen a jazz band make EDM? That’s the idea behind this trio of piano, drum, and upright bass, who use their acoustic instruments to make dance beats normally left to the computers. The group's minimalistic music might seem strange at first — closer to John Cage than John Coltrane — but the group’s innovative approach has won it famous fans. Earlier this year, these guys opened for Radiohead in New York.

8. Little Simz

UK rap may be having a moment thanks to MCs like Skepta and Stormzy, but they’re not the only Londoners who can spit bars. Hailing from the north side of the British capital, Little Simz is the only female rapper on the III Points bill. But with her perfect storm of intricate lyricism, technical flow, and excellent beat selection, one can easily imagine her taking on any MC on either side of the Atlantic regardless of gender.

7. Museum of Love

One of the best parts of seeing LCD Soundsystem is watching drummer Pat Mahoney bash away on the kit all night, displaying the stamina and precision of a human drum machine. Mahoney leaves the drums alone on his project Museum of Love, which will also perform at III Points. Instead, he picks up a microphone and creates music that pushes the classic dance-punk sound of his DFA Records label mates Holy Ghost! and Hot Chip toward their smoother pop influences in the '80s New Wave.

6. Andy Stott

One of the most distinctive producers in club music, Manchester’s Andy Stott brought his grainy, moody take on dub techno to a new level on this year’s Too Many Voices. The LP features clattering, explosive bangers and sensual, atmospheric numbers in equal measure. Expect his set to sound halfway between factory floor and film noir.

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Douglas Markowitz is a former music and arts editorial intern for Miami New Times. Born and raised in South Florida, he studied at Sophia University in Tokyo before earning a bachelor's in communications from University of North Florida. He writes freelance about music, art, film, and other subjects.