bands/musicians The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists  

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3.6k votes 355 voters 46.5k views 112 items

Some people may associate ambient music with experimental music, but there's far more to the sound that simply describing it as that. Ambient music first developed in the 1970s and unlike other genres, focused primarily on atmospheric sound that would run long way longer than traditional song structure and instruments. The best ambient music artists used synthesizers and ambitious production to create long, looping, layered music that was as interesting as anything created during that time. Since those initial years, ambient music artists has grown to include more dance music artists, in particular house and techno music.

So, what are the best ambient music artists? Any list has to have the likes of Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, The Orb, Orbital and Enigma. These are widely known as some of the most important ambient music artists and have created the best ambient music. There are plenty of other popular artists on this list, but in order to be voted to the top, you have to be considered one of the best, not merely popular.

That said, it's up to you to determine who are the best ambient music artists. If you notice someone missing from this list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best ambient music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest ambient 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 ambient music bands that you might've heard of. (112 items)

1
132 68
Piertomas Dell'Erba is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Piertomas added Piertomas Dell'Erba Space Ambient

2
87 39
Brian Eno is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Brian Eno Electronic music, Experimental rock, Experimental classical music

3
24 6
Eloy Fritsch is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Lauren Veronese added Eloy Fritsch New Age music, Electronic music, Progressive rock

4
39 26
Philip Glass is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Philip Glass Opera, Classical music, Contemporary classical music

5
35 27
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

6
25 22
Biosphere is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Biosphere Chill-out music, Drone music, Ambient house

7
39 38
Harold Budd is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Harold Budd Drone music, Contemporary classical music, Ambient music

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9 6
Australis is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Australis New Age music, Electronic music, World music

9
33 32
Boards of Canada is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Boards of Canada Downtempo, Trip hop, Electronic music

10
15 13
Amethystium is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Amethystium Neoclassical Dark Wave, Dark ambient, Pop music

11
23 22
Enigma is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Enigma Downtempo, New Age music, Worldbeat

12
20 19
Art of Noise is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Art of Noise Downtempo, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

13
9 7
Jón Þór Birgisson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Jón Þór Birgisson World music, Post-rock, Baroque pop

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19 18
Abandoned Toys is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
michellewanson added Abandoned Toys

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8 6
Conrad Schnitzler is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Conrad Schnitzler Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

16
7 5
Ashra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Ashra Electronic music, Ambient music

17
7 5
Beautiful Pea Green Boat is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Beautiful Pea Green Boat Shoegazing, Electronic music, Ethereal wave

18
7 5
Alice is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Alice Pop music, Traditional music, Rock music

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CAN is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
CAN Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

20
6 4
Cineplexx is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Cineplexx Pop music, Latin American music, Ambient music

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Robert Fripp is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Robert Fripp New Wave, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

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15 14
Dead Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Dead Can Dance Neoclassical Dark Wave, Gothic rock, New Age music

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15 14
Aes Dana is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Aes Dana Downtempo, Chill-out music, Electronic dance music

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5 3
Dead combo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Dead combo Soundtrack, Ambient music

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14 13
Asura is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Asura Downtempo, Electronic music, Chill-out music

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13 12
Jeff Pearce is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Jeff Pearce New Age music, Ambient music

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13 12
The Synthetic Dream Foundation is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
michellewanson added The Synthetic Dream Foundation Neoclassical Dark Wave, Trip hop, Steampunk

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13 12
Daniel Lanois is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Daniel Lanois Blues-rock, New Wave, Rock music

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3 1
Klaus Schulze is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
sssvnnn added Klaus Schulze Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

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Orbital is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Orbital Acid techno, Acid house, Minimal techno

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2 0
Patrick O'Hearn is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Joris added Patrick O'Hearn

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11 10
Matthew Robert Cooper is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Matthew Robert Cooper Shoegazing, Piano, Electronic music

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10 9
Jean Ven Robert Hal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Jean Ven Robert Hal Krautrock, Synthpop, New Age music

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Grouper is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Grouper Folk music, Drone music, Electronic dance music

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Aphex Twin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Aphex Twin Acid techno, Acid house, Dark ambient

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Jacaszek is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Jacaszek Contemporary classical music, Electroacoustic music, Ambient music

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Massive Attack is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Massive Attack Hip hop music, Soundtrack, Alternative hip hop

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17 17
Autechre is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Autechre Hip hop music, Minimal techno, Electro

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7 6
Adam Forkner is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Adam Forkner Psychedelia, Electronic music, Experimental music

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7 6
AKIBA is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
AKIBA Electronica, Ambient music

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7 6
Niagara Falls is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Niagara Falls Psychedelic folk, Post-rock, Ambient music

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7 6
Tyler Rix is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Tyler Rix Classical music, Ambient music

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7 6
Alanïa is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Alanïa Electronic music, Ambient music

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6 5
Thomas Knak is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Thomas Knak Electronic music, Film score, Ambient music

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6 5
This Allure is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
This Allure Alternative rock, Progressive rock, Ambient music

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6 5
Mark Templeton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Mark Templeton Folk music, Electronic music, Ambient music

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6 5
Decoder is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists

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6 5
1 Mile North is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
1 Mile North Electronic music, Experimental music, Post-rock

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6 5
Bernhard Wagner is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Bernhard Wagner Minimal music, Ambient music, Funk

50
6 5
Austin TV is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Austin TV Instrumental rock, Progressive rock, Post-rock