Bands/Musicians The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists  

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3.6k votes 359 voters 46.8k 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
89 39
Brian Eno is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Brian Eno Electronic music, Experimental rock, Experimental classical music

2
132 71
Piertomas Dell'Erba is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Piertomas added Piertomas Dell'Erba Space Ambient

3
25 7
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
41 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 28
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
26 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
34 32
Boards of Canada is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Boards of Canada Downtempo, Trip hop, Electronic music

8
18 16
CAN is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
CAN Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

9
16 14
Dead Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Dead Can Dance Neoclassical Dark Wave, Gothic rock, New Age music

10
39 39
Harold Budd is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Harold Budd Drone music, Contemporary classical music, Ambient music

11
27 26
Robert Fripp is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Robert Fripp New Wave, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

12
24 23
Enigma is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Enigma Downtempo, New Age music, Worldbeat

13
9 7
Australis is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Australis New Age music, Electronic music, World music

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

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15
38 39
Aphex Twin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Aphex Twin Acid techno, Acid house, Dark ambient

16
15 14
Amethystium is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Amethystium Neoclassical Dark Wave, Dark ambient, Pop music

17
20 20
Art of Noise is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Art of Noise Downtempo, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

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

19
9 8
Jón Þór Birgisson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Jón Þór Birgisson World music, Post-rock, Baroque pop

20
8 7
Conrad Schnitzler is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Conrad Schnitzler Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

21
7 6
Beautiful Pea Green Boat is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Beautiful Pea Green Boat Shoegazing, Electronic music, Ethereal wave

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7 6
Ashra is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Ashra Electronic music, Ambient music

23
7 6
Alice is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Alice Pop music, Traditional music, Rock music

24
15 15
Aes Dana is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Aes Dana Downtempo, Chill-out music, Electronic dance music

25
6 5
Bernhard Wagner is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Bernhard Wagner Minimal music, Ambient music, Funk

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6 5
Mark Templeton is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Mark Templeton Folk music, Electronic music, Ambient music

27
6 5
1 Mile North is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
1 Mile North Electronic music, Experimental music, Post-rock

28
6 5
Thomas Knak is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Thomas Knak Electronic music, Film score, Ambient music

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6 5
Cineplexx is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Cineplexx Pop music, Latin American music, Ambient music

30
14 14
Asura is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Asura Downtempo, Electronic music, Chill-out music

31
5 4
Dead combo is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Dead combo Soundtrack, Ambient music

32
13 13
Daniel Lanois is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Daniel Lanois Blues-rock, New Wave, Rock music

33
13 13
The Synthetic Dream Foundation is listed (or ranked) 33 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 13
Jeff Pearce is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Jeff Pearce New Age music, Ambient music

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

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4 3
Samantha Bouquin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
vistacorran added samantha bouquin

37
19 20
Grouper is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Grouper Folk music, Drone music, Electronic dance music

38
11 11
Animal Collective is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Animal Collective Psychedelic folk, New Weird America, Electronic music

39
11 11
Matthew Robert Cooper is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Matthew Robert Cooper Shoegazing, Piano, Electronic music

40
3 2
Klaus Schulze is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
sssvnnn added Klaus Schulze Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

41
10 10
Fredo Viola is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Fredo Viola Folk music, Post-rock, Ambient music

42
10 10
808 State is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
808 State New Wave, Neurofunk, Rave music

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10 10
Jean Ven Robert Hal is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Jean Ven Robert Hal Krautrock, Synthpop, New Age music

44
10 10
Arovane is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Arovane Electronic dance music, Intelligent dance music, Electronica

45
2 1
Patrick O'Hearn is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Joris added Patrick O'Hearn

46
17 18
Massive Attack is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Massive Attack Hip hop music, Soundtrack, Alternative hip hop

47
9 9
Jacaszek is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Jacaszek Contemporary classical music, Electroacoustic music, Ambient music

48
9 9
Amiina is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Amiina Indie pop, Folk music, Instrumental rock

49
23 25
Ephemeral Mists is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
michellewanson added Ephemeral Mists Ambient music

50
8 8
Creative Thinkers Internationa... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Ambient Music Bands/Artists
Creative Thinkers International Hip hop music, Spoken Word Soul, New Age music