For many of our writers, joining the EDMTunes family has been a life-changing experience. Even though we all love our job, that doesn’t mean there aren’t aspects of it that sometimes get under our skin. One of the biggest issues is that we don’t often get the chance to voice our true opinions, which is why we have come up with a new series called ‘EDMTunes Icebreakers’.
When writing about song releases or news stories, we often remain objective in order to leave our biases out of the articles. That being said, we wanted to give our writers a chance to speak their minds as well as give our readers a chance to get to know us better. Every other week, our editors will ask our writers a question and they will answer with a few sentences. A handful of these responses will then be compiled into an article for you to read and react to. We hope the ‘EDMTunes Icebreakers’ series gives you a glimpse into our personal music preferences and helps bridge the gap between reader and writer.
This week’s question is: Who is the most underrated act in electronic music?
David Margulis – Mat Zo
Despite his exceptional production prowess and unprecedented versatility, Mat Zo is one of electronic music’s most underrated producers. The talented British artist began his career making soaringly beautiful trance for Anjunabeats, complete with his iconic dark and brooding bass lines. After spending a few years solidifying his reputation as one of the best trance artists in the industry, Mat Zo shifted away from the genre and drew from the entire musical spectrum with his extraordinary debut album, Damage Control. He is now completely independent and innovative as ever, releasing his stellar second album Self Assemble on his label Mad Zoo this past month.
Ryan Harcourt – Jackal
Being classified as an underrated artist does not stem from having a lack of talent. It comes from being overshadowed or not recognized for your work. Everybody, say hi to Jackal. An innovator in trap music, Jackal has made the genre that encourages weird noises…even weirder. You’ve heard his songs being played in live sets by big names like Jack U and you’ve even heard his track, “Animal Style” in TV ads against smoking. His music is being used to keep teens from smoking and you don’t even realize it! His song “Chinchilla” is the craziest thing I’ve ever called music and it’s infectious.
Tina Thach – AC Slater
Not only are artists grossly underrated, but so are the various types of dance music. Our culture is completely consumed by the likes of generic big-room DJs, shitty beat drops, and party animals that appreciate the rage more than the rave. I, for one, refuse to let myself succumb to the mainstream hype and the bad name it gives for the industry. One example of an underrated artist that produces underrated music is none other than the one and only pioneer and champion of Night Bass, AC Slater. Bringing a refreshing style to the table and making atypical house music, AC Slater knows exactly how to push your soul off the edge with addictive rhythms and dirty basslines. I thank the rave gods for introducing his gifts to my life.
Cormac Beeler – Kryptogram
Although there are dozens of talented, under-appreciated producers currently fighting to be heard, when asked this difficult question, one name stood out in particular: Kryptogram, a young producer from Chicago, Illinois. Pushing his unique “Neo-House” sound, Kryptogram’s productions are flawless. Even though he isn’t afraid to include unique elements that showcase his creativity, he also stays true to his roots and gives ode to the classic Chicago house sound, which has clearly influenced his work. For only having around 5000 followers on SoundCloud, Kryptogram’s productions are on par with some of the industry’s best. Take a listen to the song that made me realize just how talented this young producer is.
Denis Tran – ilan Bluestone
Artists from the Anjunabeats label tend to share a great deal of loyalty from the Anjuna family, but the niche market they reach does not truly represent how spectacular these musicians are. I feel that ilan Bluestone is the most underrated artist in electronic music because his music exemplifies what I believe to be the essence of electronic music: euphoric, emotional and energizing all at once. If you haven’t heard of him yet, I suggest his remix of Above & Beyond’s “Satellite” as a good starting point.
Scott Lombardo – Kryder
Kryder has been on the scene since the beginning and has consistently put out amazing groovy progressive house, especially when teaming up with his buddy Tom Staar. He is frequently a featured remixer on big tracks, yet you’ll almost never see him at a US festival. After SHM broke up and Swedish house fell out of favor, it has been hard for his style of music to get the credit it deserves. However, Kryder has been working on a groove house revival that is starting to catch on again today thanks to his Sosumi label and Kryteria radio show. Check out his discography and you will be sure to be blown away.
Nick Benner – Oliver
Even though they boast quite the SoundCloud following and have been around for years now, I would have to say that Oliver is my most underrated act. The guys don’t release tracks too often, but when they do, they put out some of the grooviest, out-of-this-world records in electronic music. I feel like Oliver tends to fly under the radar, so if you still haven’t heard of them, you definitely need to give “Light Years Away” a listen.
Haris Kolenovic – Michael Calfan
I personally feel like Michael Calfan doesn’t get as much recognition as he deserves. He burst onto the scene out of nowhere with his monster track “Resurrection” and then went into hibernation for a bit before releasing house single after single. He went away from the progressive house sound that gave him notoriety and went towards a new direction with tunes like “Treasured Soul”, which has been played by the likes of Steve Angello, Kryder, EDX and more.
What do you think of our writers’ answers? Let us know your favorite underrated artist in the comments!