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The Most Influential Electronic Music Pioneers

Updated September 18, 2020 9.4k votes 1.7k voters 129.2k views60 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, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section.  

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  • Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Influential Electronic Music Pioneers
    Video: YouTube
    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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  • Brian Eno is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential Electronic Music Pioneers
    Video: YouTube
    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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  • Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential Electronic Music Pioneers
    Video: YouTube
    Depeche Mode deserves a place on any list that includes pioneers of electronic music, particularly electro-pop. This British band, fronted by the brilliant David Gahan, has recorded heavily synthesized tunes that range from the upbeat (early Depeche) to the brooding and dark (later years). Depeche remains hugely popular today. Bands like The Crystal Method cite Depeche Mode as a massive influence.
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  • Jean Michel Jarre is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Influential Electronic Music Pioneers
    Video: YouTube
    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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Bands/MusiciansMusictop 50Electronic Musictop 20Influential