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music The Best Experimental Bands/Artists

3.7k votes 34k views 413 items Embed
Unlike other musical genres, anything that experimental bands do is unpredictable. Whether that's by nature, by training or just something they enjoy doing, experimental artists know how to push the envelope on what their fans consume sonically and their songs generally challenge the convention of even what loyal fans can predict will happen. The bands on this list are generally of the pop and rock music variety. Many of the experimental bands and experimental artists are on here for their willingness to change song structure, fuse genres and use instruments and sounds that weren't well known or even thought of in the same way.

So, what are the best experimental bands and experimental artists? You've probably heard of the experimental music artists that are in the top half of this list. David Bowie, Bjork, Animal Collective, Frank Zappa and Peter Murphy are names associated with experimental music. These artists have all challenged their listeners by releasing music that isn't conventional and thus, have actually become more beloved by their fans.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best experimental bands. If you notice that a band isn't on this list and should be, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best experimental music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest experimental music musician ever?"

If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular experimental music bands that you might've heard of. (413 items)

1
+ - 113 61
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop Electronic music

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2
+ - 67 54
Satanicpornocultshop is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Satanicpornocultshop Dubstep, Electronic music Ghetto house

3
+ - 43 37
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock Heavy metal

4
+ - 64 61
Björk is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Björk Electronic dance music, Jazz Tribal house

5
+ - 44 40
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Tom Waits Blues-rock, Rock music Folk music

6
+ - 39 36
Swans is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Swans Noise rock, Rock music No wave

7
+ - 21 18
Portishead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Portishead Krautrock, Breakbeat Folktronica

8
+ - 28 26
Coil is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Coil Dark ambient, Electronic music Noise music

9
+ - 36 35
Animal Collective is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Animal Collective Psychedelic folk, New Weird America Electronic music

10
+ - 18 15
David Sylvian is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
David Sylvian New Wave, Electronic music Classical music

11
+ - 18 15
Scott Walker is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Scott Walker Pop music, Rock music Merseybeat

12
+ - 23 21
The Residents is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
The Residents Noise rock, Rock music Experimental rock

13
+ - 15 12
Diamanda Galás is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Diamanda Galás Gothic rock, No wave Electronic music

14
+ - 29 28
SAFliper is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
SAFliper Glitch, Noise Experimental - SAFliper is a Portuguese noise and glitch music composer/ producer

15
+ - 26 25
Psychic TV is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Psychic TV Acid house, Electronic music Post-industrial music

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16
+ - 17 16
Genesis P-Orridge is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Genesis P-Orridge Psychedelia, Psychedelia Industrial music

17
+ - 16 15
Tuxedomoon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Tuxedomoon New Wave, Experimental music Punk rock

18
+ - 15 15
J.G. Thirlwell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists

19
+ - 19 20
Butthole Surfers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Butthole Surfers Noise rock, Rock music Neo-psychedelia

20
+ - 2 0
Nina Hagen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Nina Hagen New Wave, Gothic rock Opera

21
+ - 12 12
Steve Lieberman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Steve Lieberman Garage punk, Outsider music Heavy metal

22
+ - 5 4
Violent Silence is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Violent Silence Thrash metal, Progressive rock Art rock

23
+ - 12 13
Autechre is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Autechre Hip hop music, Minimal techno Electro

24
+ - 12 13
Throbbing Gristle is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Throbbing Gristle Noise rock, Dark ambient Electronic music

25
+ - 28 33
Klaus Nomi is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Klaus Nomi Synthpop, New Wave Disco

26
+ - 9 10
Nurse with Wound is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Nurse with Wound Dark ambient, Drone music Industrial music

27
+ - 32 38
Luigi Russolo is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Luigi Russolo Experimental music, Avant-garde

28
+ - 12 14
Peter Murphy is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Peter Murphy Gothic rock, Experimental music Alternative rock

29
+ - 7 8
Cluster is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Cluster Krautrock, Electronic music Experimental music

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30
+ - 7 8
Blixa Bargeld is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Blixa Bargeld Dark ambient, Rock music Industrial music

31
+ - 6 7
Current 93 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Current 93 Dark ambient, Post-industrial music Neofolk

32
+ - 5 6
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave Rock music

33
+ - 17 21
Pedro INF is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Pedro INF Electronic dance music, Glitch Experimental music

34
+ - 4 5
Laurie Anderson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Laurie Anderson Experimental music, Art rock

35
+ - 8 10
Thurston Moore is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Thurston Moore Noise rock, No wave Experimental rock

36
+ - 8 10
Arthur Russell is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Arthur Russell New Wave, Disco Fusion

37
+ - 8 10
Masada is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Masada Klezmer, Experimental music Jazz

38
+ - 8 10
Trey Spruance is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Trey Spruance Avant-progressive rock, Experimental rock Experimental music

39
+ - 8 10
Tribes of Neurot is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Tribes of Neurot Dark ambient, Experimental music

40
+ - 8 10
Fred Frith Guitar Quartet is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Fred Frith Guitar Quartet Experimental music, Contemporary classical music Free improvisation

41
+ - 3 4
Boards of Canada is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Boards of Canada Downtempo, Trip hop Electronic music

42
+ - 3 4
Antipop Consortium is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Antipop Consortium Hip hop music, Glitch Experimental music

43
+ - 7 9
Marc Ribot is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Marc Ribot Electronic music, Experimental music Alternative rock

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44
+ - 7 9
Ranker Video v
Jitters Experimental, Math Rock Other - Tampa-bred instrumental math-prog duo that plays fast and futuristic melodies, with busy drums and sonic loopage scattered throughout their songs. Their sound is taut and nervous, full of abrupt, jagged instrumental twists and turns.

45
+ - 7 9
Thighpaulsandra is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Thighpaulsandra Dark ambient, Space rock Electronic music

46
+ - 11 14
Mike Garson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Mike Garson New Wave, Rock music Jazz

47
+ - 11 14
The Books is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
The Books Sound collage, Folk music Electronic music

48
+ - 2 3
Grotus is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Grotus Experimental rock, Industrial rock Experimental music

49
+ - 2 3
Bill Laswell is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Bill Laswell Industrial hip hop, Experimental music Dub

50
+ - 2 3
Autopsia is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Autopsia Dubstep, Dark ambient New Wave