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The Most Influential Electronic Music Pioneers

Updated November 3, 2020 9.4k votes 1.8k voters 132.1k views57 items

List RulesVote up the most influential pioneers of electronic music.

Like the settlers who traveled from the East Coast to the West Coast in search of manifest destiny, these EDM pioneers helped pave the way for electronic musicians of the future. For decades, musicians have been creating electronic music, but only recently have their jams become more mainstream. In each case, the artist or artists directly affected the future of electronic music, offering fans a totally unique perspective on the genre. 

Who are some of the most influential electronic music pioneers? There are plenty to choose from, and a bunch got their start in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Groups like Kraftwerk, New Order, Daft Punk, and Depeche Mode are considered some of the greatest electronic music bands of all time. They helped lead the way for other electronica musicians and DJs to create some of the most mind-blowing electronic dance music of all time.  

Vote up the best EDM pioneers.  

  • Germany's Kraftwerk is arguably among the very best when it comes to influential electronic music. With a signature style that also includes some pretty awesome hooks, Kraftwerk remains a leader in the genre, influencing everyone from David Bowie to Afrika Bambaataa.
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  • The electronic musician Aphex Twin (aka Richard David James), is a tremendously successful contemporary electronic musician. Influences from Kraftwerk to Tangerine Dream can easily be heard in the music, which runs the gamut from ambient techno to trance and, of course, electronica.
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  • No list of influential electronic music pioneers would be complete without the great Brian Eno and his brilliant ambient music. Eno's solo work (after Roxy Music) is considered by many to be a positively dazzling example of ambient music. Eno's influences run deep - Aphex Twin comes to mind immediately.
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  • Omitting Jean-Michel Jarre from any list involving the most influential music pioneers would simply be a crime of epic proportions. This French composer and musician has put out decades of incredible, melodic electronic music. He's also given stunning concert performances, particularly in the 1970s (where he achieved mainstream success).
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