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music The Best Experimental Bands/Artists  

3.9k votes 492 voters 34k views 413 items Follow 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
+ - 134 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
+ - 31 20
Scott Walker is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Scott Walker Pop music, Rock music, Merseybeat

3
+ - 75 68
Björk is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Björk Electronic dance music, Jazz, Tribal house

4
+ - 51 51
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Tom Waits Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

5
+ - 67 72
Satanicpornocultshop is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Satanicpornocultshop Dubstep, Electronic music, Ghetto house

6
+ - 24 25
The Residents is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
The Residents Noise rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

7
+ - 18 18
Tuxedomoon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Tuxedomoon New Wave, Experimental music, Punk rock

8
+ - 37 41
Animal Collective is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Animal Collective Psychedelic folk, New Weird America, Electronic music

9
+ - 21 22
David Sylvian is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
David Sylvian New Wave, Electronic music, Classical music

10
+ - 13 13
Throbbing Gristle is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Throbbing Gristle Noise rock, Dark ambient, Electronic music

11
+ - 17 18
Genesis P-Orridge is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Genesis P-Orridge Psychedelia, Psychedelia, Industrial music

12
+ - 40 46
Swans is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Swans Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

13
+ - 26 29
Psychic TV is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Psychic TV Acid house, Electronic music, Post-industrial music

14
+ - 21 23
Portishead is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Portishead Krautrock, Breakbeat, Folktronica

15
+ - 44 51
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

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16
+ - 2 0
Nina Hagen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Nina Hagen New Wave, Gothic rock, Opera

17
+ - 29 33
SAFliper is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
SAFliper Glitch, Noise, Experimental - SAFliper is a Portuguese noise and glitch music composer/ producer

18
+ - 29 33
Coil is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Coil Dark ambient, Electronic music, Noise music

19
+ - 15 16
Diamanda Galás is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Diamanda Galás Gothic rock, No wave, Electronic music

20
+ - 15 16
J.G. Thirlwell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists

21
+ - 33 38
Luigi Russolo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Luigi Russolo Experimental music, Avant-garde

22
+ - 19 21
Butthole Surfers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Butthole Surfers Noise rock, Rock music, Neo-psychedelia

23
+ - 14 15
Steve Lieberman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Steve Lieberman Garage punk, Outsider music, Heavy metal

24
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Violent Silence is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Violent Silence Thrash metal, Progressive rock, Art rock

25
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Cluster is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Cluster Krautrock, Electronic music, Experimental music

26
+ - 12 13
Autechre is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Autechre Hip hop music, Minimal techno, Electro

27
+ - 7 7
Current 93 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Current 93 Dark ambient, Post-industrial music, Neofolk

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

29
+ - 5 5
Laurie Anderson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Laurie Anderson Experimental music, Art rock

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30
+ - 9 10
Arthur Russell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Arthur Russell New Wave, Disco, Fusion

31
+ - 9 10
Nurse with Wound is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Nurse with Wound Dark ambient, Drone music, Industrial music

32
+ - 9 10
Thurston Moore is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Thurston Moore Noise rock, No wave, Experimental rock

33
+ - 9 10
Fred Frith Guitar Quartet is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Fred Frith Guitar Quartet Experimental music, Contemporary classical music, Free improvisation

34
+ - 12 14
Peter Murphy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Peter Murphy Gothic rock, Experimental music, Alternative rock

35
+ - 12 14
Mike Garson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Mike Garson New Wave, Rock music, Jazz

36
+ - 8 9
Marc Ribot is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Marc Ribot Electronic music, Experimental music, Alternative rock

37
+ - 7 8
Moebius & Plank is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Moebius & Plank Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

38
+ - 7 8
Blixa Bargeld is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Blixa Bargeld Dark ambient, Rock music, Industrial music

39
+ - 3 3
Bill Laswell is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Bill Laswell Industrial hip hop, Experimental music, Dub

40
+ - 2 2
Buck 65 is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Buck 65 Alternative hip hop, Experimental music, Country

41
+ - 17 21
Pedro INF is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Pedro INF Electronic dance music, Glitch, Experimental music

42
+ - 5 6
Silver Apples is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Silver Apples Rock music, Electronic music, Protopunk

43
+ - 5 6
Mouse on Mars is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Mouse on Mars Electronic music, Experimental music, Intelligent dance music

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44
+ - 5 6
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

45
+ - 5 6
Skeletons & The Girl-Faced Boy... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Skeletons & The Girl-Faced Boys Experimental music

46
+ - 1 1
Peter Blegvad is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Peter Blegvad Experimental rock, Experimental music

47
+ - 1 1
Medeski Martin & Wood is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Medeski Martin & Wood Avant-garde jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

48
+ - 1 1
Faust is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Faust Krautrock, Experimental rock, Progressive rock

49
+ - 1 1
Keiji Haino is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Keiji Haino Psychedelia, Rock music, Drone music

50
+ - 1 1
Dagmar Krause is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Experimental Bands/Artists
Dagmar Krause Avant-progressive rock, Experimental rock, Cabaret