|Cultural origins||Early 1990s, New York City|
Illbient is a genre of electronic music and an art movement that originated among hip hop-influenced artists from Williamsburg, New York City around 1994. DJ Olive, and DJ Spooky, pioneers of the genre, have both claimed to have coined the term. The word "illbient" combines the hip hop slang term "ill" (a positive expression: bad meaning good) and "ambient".
Though there are many individualistic variants of illbient, the music is characterized by dub- and industrial-influenced layering of soundscapes, hip hop-influenced use of samples and a progressive approach to beat programming that encompasses all genres of world groove and electronic music. Illbient often uses beats more than purely ambient music (or dark ambient), and often includes loops in the recordings.
Besides DJ Olive, other notable names and acts that were part of the original illbient scene included DJ Spooky, Raz Mesinai (Sub Dub, Badawi), We™ (which was the joint project of DJ Olive, Lloop, and Once 11), Byzar, Spectre and the artists that were released on his WordSound label around that time.
- Fintoni, Laurent (2014). "Detuning the City: An Oral History of Illbient".
- "Electronic » Downtempo » Illbient". AllMusic. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
Centered in New York City (Brooklyn in particular), illbient is a distinctly and consciously urban form of electronic music, aiming to express both the cultural variety and grimy decay of its surroundings.
- Ishkur (2005). "Ishkur's guide to Electronic Music". Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- Katz, Mark (2012-04-01). Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-991301-5.
- "How your favourite genre got its name".
- Reynolds, Simon (2013). Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture. Soft Skull Press.
Unlike the UK's marijuana-infused ambient culture, New York's 'illbient' scene is less about wombing soundbaths and vegetative bliss, more about creating audio-sculptures and environmental soundscapes.