I feel like I know so much about other genres and where they came from. Trance, Psy-Trance, House, Tech, Drum & Bass etc etc...it is all somewhat documented and clear where the cultures begin and travelled. For Psybient I don't know who were its pioneers, or where the first breakthrough records began? Would love to know more.
Oldest 'Psybient' track I could label is 1996, Man With No Name - Azymuth
I always thought The Infinity Project's Mystical Experiences album was considered to be one of the first real psybient albums released in 1995. but you could probably say it started before then by a number of ambient artists. definitely somewhere around the early to mid nineties though.
Well I guess it depends on what can be seen as a psybient tune. It could go as far back as the 70s at least with bands like Tangerine Dream, or artists like Brian Eno. I'm not a fan of either of those to be honest, but Phaedra by Tangerine Dream, though not much to my liking, does have some psybient elements. I can't avoid mentioning the Ozrics again as well. I mean, yes, the production values on this tune,
especially the percussion, are admittedly crude, but the elements are all in place in my view. That was '86. I would argue that since psybient was a by-product of goa and psytrance, and because Simon Posford and Nick Barber among others have made the Ozric influence public, they can be seen as somewhat of the forefathers of psybient. You might want to skip the often heavily pronounced rock elements, but I am sure that at least some of the members of this forum will find some tunes enjoyable.
Hopefully someone can give me some suggestions from the 70s (60s?) until the 90s, as I'm not versed in those decades' psybient.
First "real" Psybient release i'll probably say The Infinity Projects - Mystical Experiences, of course there were other artists who venture into the sound here and there, Brian Eno, Jean Michel Jarre, Pink Floyd to name a few
I don't like all of Hillage's works, but Live Herald is mind blowing and Fish Rising and L have their moments. His work with Gong is also top-notch IMO.
As for 70s prog, it can be a bit too overblown for its own sake. And those high-register vocals of bands like Yes and Rush just grate on my nerves. But Floyd for example are right up my alley, especially from More to Animals.
It occurred to me that no one has mentioned Steve Hillage's Rainbow Dome Musick. It came out in '79 and I think a lot of psybient artists, especially people like Matt Hillier or Sinepearl have been influenced by this album. To my ears at least it could have been released this year or any other - it's timeless.
Here is my input. Heaven and Hell by Vangelis from 1975. This is movement II of the piece. Especially from 3:18 I think is an early indication of what is to come from electronica/psychedelia. Perhaps doesn't have the structure we are all used to but this is where it starts.
I agree on the roots in '70s prog rock and early electronic ambient music through the '80s. Also, let's not forget about the KLF's Chillout (1990) with the start of what continues evolving today on psychill stages at festivals. All of which can then be rooted in earlier psychedelic music from the '60s, and on and on and on, back throughout history and past that into pre-history. I think the beauty of psybient and psychedelic music in general, is that it's roots are so diverse and lay in our ancient beginnings as music/trance loving human beings. Lots of ancient instruments and sounds used in the latest releases, and the most primal sounds even with all the nature environmental recording elements.