Is there a term for this style of music? (sampling old records)

I have heard a few songs by electronic artists that create a unique feel by sampling voice tracks in a song from old records, or at least simulating old-style records.


The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist

Wax Tailor - Que Sera

Is there a term for this style/subgenre? Or are there not really enough songs like these for a subgenre to arise?

I can’t seem to find a good genre name for this.

Googling seems to find many references to Moby’s music as “sample-based electronic music.”

I think it complicates things that there are so many seemingly arbitrary names for electronic music (dance, techno, electronica, ambient, house, and many others) but “sample-based” or “sample-driven” are useful modifiers with the above.

The best name I’ve heard applied to it is “plunderphonics”, but I’m not sure how much that really caught on.

Try People Like Us, Cowcube or Mr Scruff if you want more. And does DJ Shadow count?

In the Que Sera video, at least, there’s more than just audio sampling going on. I recognize film clips from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, or a reasonable facsimile.

Clever, but I don’t think I have seen enough examples to characterize the genre other than a mixture of new and old.

Those linked styles in the OP are one of my favorite aspects of hip hop. I never thought to try to classify it as its own genre. I have heard many hip hop artists and deejays use the style, sometimes just one or two songs on the whole album.

Let me introduce you to one of the best tracks from DJ Shadow’s Entroducing (1996). And I never thought I’d see someone mention Cowcube on Straight Dope! He was one of John Peel’s late-period favourites.

Dunno, it was “breakbeat” or “sample-based dance music” back when Coldcut etc did it. DJ Shadow was usually lumped in with trip-hop, which typically used samples underneath new vocals; DJ Shadow used samples underneath other samples. It’s really more a kind of style than a subgenre (there’s not much common ground, musically, between Cowcube and DJ Shadow).

Great name, but that meant something different. John Oswald used that name to describe music he made entirely out of uncleared samples. (Wikipedia says Plunderphonics it could be classified as a type of sound collage.) Wax Tailor has a couple of officially-released albums to his name, so I’m guessing he has permission for those samples. And Oswald used old samples and recent ones; he wasn’t specifically trying for an oldfashioned sound.

Wikipedia and the AllMusic Guide don’t offer a specific name for this type of sampling. They both group him in a variety of categories including trip hop and electronica, but nothing as specific as what you’re asking about.

Yeah, that’s where I came across him as well, of course. I’ve just looked up the details in Ken Garner’s Peel Sessions guide, and I see he did full sessions in both 2000 and 2002, plus a special Christmas track for the show in 2001. Ten poppy, charming tracks in all.

He did a couple of remixes, one for Cornershop and one for Listen With Sarah, then vanished without trace. I see from the link below that he did have his own CD out at one point, but I hadn’t been aware of that, and copies are now described as “ultra-rare”. Fortunately, I still have my old Peel C90 cassettes of all the relevant shows, recorded off air and since transferred to CD. Ha!

I remember Cowcube lived in Stowmarket, near Peel Acres, and that’s how the great man came to discover him. I’ve always assumed the name must have something to do with the Oxo brand’s little cubes of beef extract, but I have no evidence for that whatsoever. A childhood name for Oxo cubes perhaps?

I really liked Cowcube, not least because he seemed to make his music for the sheer fun of it, and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who remembers him fondly. There’s more here: