Bands/Musicians The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists  

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3.7k votes 377 voters 47.2k 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)
list ordered by

1
140 76
Piertomas Dell'Erba is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Piertomas added Space Ambient

2
94 46
Brian Eno is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Electronic music, Experimental rock, Experimental classical music

3
26 8
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
42 27
Philip Glass is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Opera, Classical music, Contemporary classical music

5
37 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
35 33
Boards of Canada is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Downtempo, Trip hop, Electronic music

8
40 39
Harold Budd is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Drone music, Contemporary classical music, Ambient music

9
40 39
Aphex Twin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Acid techno, Acid house, Dark ambient

10
29 28
Robert Fripp is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
New Wave, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

11
26 25
Enigma is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Downtempo, New Age music, Worldbeat

12
9 7
Australis is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
New Age music, Electronic music, World music

13
8 6
Ashra is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Electronic music, Ambient music

14
18 17
Autechre is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Minimal techno, Electro

15
16 15
Aes Dana is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Downtempo, Chill-out music, Electronic dance music

16
16 15
Amethystium is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Neoclassical Dark Wave, Dark ambient, Pop music

17
16 15
Dead Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Neoclassical Dark Wave, Gothic rock, New Age music

18
14 13
Jeff Pearce is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
New Age music, Ambient music

19
4 2
Klaus Schulze is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
sssvnnn added Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

20
11 10
808 State is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
New Wave, Neurofunk, Rave music

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

22
18 18
Massive Attack is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Soundtrack, Alternative hip hop

23
18 18
CAN is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

24
9 8
Jón Þór Birgisson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
World music, Post-rock, Baroque pop

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

26
7 6
Beautiful Pea Green Boat is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Shoegazing, Electronic music, Ethereal wave

27
7 6
Alice is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Pop music, Traditional music, Rock music

28
6 5
Cineplexx is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Pop music, Latin American music, Ambient music

29
6 5
Bernhard Wagner is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Minimal music, Ambient music, Funk

30
6 5
Mark Templeton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Folk music, Electronic music, Ambient music

31
6 5
Thomas Knak is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Electronic music, Film score, Ambient music

32
14 14
Asura is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Downtempo, Electronic music, Chill-out music

33
5 4
Dead combo is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Soundtrack, Ambient music

34
13 13
The Synthetic Dream Foundation is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
michellewanson added Neoclassical Dark Wave, Trip hop, Steampunk

35
21 22
Orbital is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Acid techno, Acid house, Minimal techno

36
4 3
Patrick O'Hearn is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Joris added

37
4 3
Samantha Bouquin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
vistacorran added

38
19 20
Abandoned Toys is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
michellewanson added

39
11 11
Animal Collective is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Psychedelic folk, New Weird America, Electronic music

40
11 11
Matthew Robert Cooper is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Shoegazing, Piano, Electronic music

41
10 10
Arovane is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Electronic dance music, Intelligent dance music, Electronica

42
10 10
Fredo Viola is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Folk music, Post-rock, Ambient music

43
9 9
Amiina is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Indie pop, Folk music, Instrumental rock

44
9 9
Jacaszek is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Contemporary classical music, Electroacoustic music, Ambient music

45
23 25
Ephemeral Mists is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
michellewanson added Ambient music

46
8 8
Creative Thinkers Internationa... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Spoken Word Soul, New Age music

47
8 8
Ari Pulkkinen is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Rock music, Folk music, Electronic music

48
8 8
Anchor & Braille is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
New Wave, Rock music, Folk music

49
8 8
Ghostwood is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Indie, Shoegazing, Alternative rock

50
15 16
David Sylvian is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
New Wave, Electronic music, Classical music