Bands/Musicians The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists  

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3.7k votes 390 voters 47.6k views 112 items
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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)
list ordered by

1
98 46
Brian Eno is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Electronic music, Experimental rock, Experimental classical music

2
141 79
Piertomas Dell'Erba is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Piertomas added Space Ambient

3
26 10
Eloy Fritsch is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Lauren Veronese added New Age music, Electronic music, Progressive rock

4
43 28
Philip Glass is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Opera, Classical music, Contemporary classical music

5
39 30
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

6
28 22
Biosphere is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Chill-out music, Drone music, Ambient house

7
37 33
Boards of Canada is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Downtempo, Trip hop, Electronic music

8
42 39
Aphex Twin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Acid techno, Acid house, Dark ambient

9
17 15
Aes Dana is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Downtempo, Chill-out music, Electronic dance music

10
17 15
Dead Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Neoclassical Dark Wave, Gothic rock, New Age music

11
17 15
Amethystium is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Neoclassical Dark Wave, Dark ambient, Pop music

12
29 28
Robert Fripp is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
New Wave, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

13
40 40
Harold Budd is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Drone music, Contemporary classical music, Ambient music

14
26 25
Enigma is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Downtempo, New Age music, Worldbeat

15
12 10
808 State is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
New Wave, Neurofunk, Rave music

16
21 20
Art of Noise is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Downtempo, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

17
9 7
Australis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
New Age music, Electronic music, World music

18
8 6
Ashra is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Electronic music, Ambient music

19
19 18
Massive Attack is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Soundtrack, Alternative hip hop

20
18 17
Autechre is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Minimal techno, Electro

21
4 2
Klaus Schulze is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
sssvnnn added Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

22
14 13
Jeff Pearce is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
New Age music, Ambient music

23
9 8
Jón Þór Birgisson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
World music, Post-rock, Baroque pop

24
18 18
CAN is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

25
8 7
Conrad Schnitzler is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music