Music

The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists 

Reference
Updated February 12, 2020 4.1k votes 446 voters 49.1k views 110 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. (110 items)
list ordered by
1
Piertomas Dell'Erba is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Piertomas added
2
Brian Eno is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
3
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
4
Philip Glass is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
5
Aphex Twin is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
6
Eloy Fritsch is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Lauren Veronese added
7
Harold Budd is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
8
Boards of Canada is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Biosphere is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Enigma is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Robert Fripp is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Dead Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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David Sylvian is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Art of Noise is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Aes Dana is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Ephemeral Mists is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
michellewanson added
17
808 State is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Autechre is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Jeff Pearce is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Amethystium is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Orbital is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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CAN is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Massive Attack is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
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Abandoned Toys is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
michellewanson added
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Asura is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists