I saw that the Coil-album is now up in the audiofile section, thanks. I'm familiar with BEHERIT, especially Drawing Down The Moon and Electric Doom Synthesis, but not with the Shamaani stuff. I'll try to squeeze that one into my weekly playlist as well.
Regarding the accidental discovery of droning techniques, it seems like the pioneers of electronic ambient music had a high degree of inventivness when it came to trying out new techniques and ways of composition. Judging from the liner notes to TD's Virgin records they used a LOT of equipment, but when they couldn't get what they wanted out of existing musical tools, they created them themselves (atleast that's what I've gathered from the album sleeves) to suit their needs and visions.
Getting back to the original post (I wonder if the topic creator is still around, guess not). Listening to Phaedra in the last couple of weeks has just strenghtened my opinion that it isn't at all whimsical or easy listening. Like other ambient stuff from Brian Eno to this day, this kind of music fits the needs of different listeners (well, I couldn't think of another way to express this stance). If you are receptive to Phaedra, it WILL bring out all kinds of reactions/visions. It is absolutely obscure at some moments, but it is also evocative and majestic.
Arguments pro or against this stance are welcome!