Simon Reynolds would probably have a field day with this month's roundup of new releases in electronic music. His new book, Retromania, examines the grip that the past has on the contemporary imagination, and most of my picks this month have a firm purchase on one bygone style or another. Portland's Soft Metals give New Wave its umpteenth iteration; Morning Factory and Two Armadillos both turn their hands to deeply classicist deep house. And Brooklyn's Laurel Halo makes lush, psychedelic electronica reminiscent of the '90s output of the Rephlex and R&S labels.
None of that is a bad thing, mind you: every one of these records has more going for it than its influences. But for an avowed Modernist like Reynolds, who recently told Pitchfork, "I wish there were a sense of things hurling forward more, with more direction," hope comes in the guise of both Zomby and Hudson Mohawke, two bass musicians whose new releases are decidedly future-tense.