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electronic music genres
sound of electronic music

Illbient, being a sub-genre of ambient will naturally have some characteristics of ambient, but is actually one of the sub-genres that resembles it the least. This is mainly due to the fact that it uses beats more heavily, rather than the pure ambient sound. Also, another apparent quality, is the use of drum loops and samples, more rarely found in normal ambient music.

Hip-hop is a pretty strong influence on this genre of music, and the style can be found in it. While traditional ambient rarely uses percussion in its music, or a solid structure, this specific form of it does focus on this a bit more so, giving it a distinction from ambient music in general. Vocals are another thing that is more rare in ambient, yet quite common in this sub-genre.

history of electronic music

This form of ambient music came from New York, New York City, United States (yes, the city inside New York). It emerged around the early 1990's, but wasn't made publicly very known until the mid-1990s, where is was a feature in a popular magazine. Also at this time, many artists started to emerge with compilation albums of other artist's under the same genre.

The term obviously comes from the word "ambient," but what is the other part, the "ill"? A slang word that means something along the lines of "cool." In hip-hop culture, it can be used like "that's so ill!" or "an ill beat," but literally means "sick" and can also be used the same way "sick" is used (in slang) to the same effect.

An interesting side fact, is that the inventor of ambient music created it (ambient music, not this genre) while being sick in bed, although this style of music is said to not reference this, another definition states you will need a doctor's note before listening to it, thus the "ill."

Illbient Specifications

Average Beats Per Minute: No General BPM

Where It Originated: New York City

Stylistically Similar To: Hip-Hop, Trip Hop, Ambient

Year Developed: Early 1990s


General Ambient - Back to the overview of ambient.

Dark Ambient - Dark sinister sounds, You'll feel scared just listening to it.

Drone Music - Long sustained notes make the core of what this music is.

Illbient - Get a note from your doctor, this requires a prescription.

Ambient House - A fusion of ambient and house music. What more could you ask for?

You are at illbient.

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