I'm no expert but obviously Eno,Harold Budd and sorry to mention again Susumu Yakota's album Sakura possibly my favourite ambient album. I've really got into ambient and light electronica recently.
9 responses Add your response
KK-well not really but the styles overlap and some artists are seen in both categories. Ambient as I would descrice is mainly electronic based instrumental stuff- more sonics than songwritng. New Age on the other hand can be like this but is more ethnic (various) based and includes more traditional instruments,chants and veers into modern classical at times also. I guess cynically ambient is seen as more contemporary and dance related and that New Age is more hippy trippy meditation music.Er I mean that with no offense I'm sure we'll get a "which speakers make whales sound more life-like" thread soon.:-)
Just about anything a record store can't classify goes into the NEW AGE bins. I guess Ambient would get thrown in there. Ambient was pretty big in late 70's. The big artists were Brian Eno and Klaus Schulze. It seemed to me it was mostly synthesizers in a repetetive action sending you into deep trancelike state. It was a good match with mind altering substances. Lots of new ambient music is on NPR's ECHOES