Many artists have sought to catalogue the experience of a night out into their music. Jon Hopkins transcribed a drug-addled club night in London on Immunity, The Weeknd revelled in morning-after penitence on House of Balloons. Hell, even Katy Perry has done it.
Since he dropped the six-track Dusk earlier this year, SG Lewis has made it his aim to capture the feeling of a sublime night out in his music. His three part concept album Dusk, Dark, Dawn is ongoing, and most recently he released the effervescent Dark.
SG Lewis hails the gods of the midnight shift on Dark, a pitch black release soaked in revelry, regret and the gloomiest folds of dance music’s spectrum.
Where Dusk called influence from disco, electronica, and a pinch of whiskey bar funk, Dark markedly pitches down the EQ and instead focuses on a vibe that’s part deep house, part trap, part the extra drink you shouldn’t have had.
It pointedly showcases Lewis’ ability to work in the low frequency range, only climbing the spectrum for hands-in-the-air choruses backed by euphoric vocals from AlunaGeorge or Bruno Major.
Each of the features are well-curated and serve the release as a whole beautifully. It may sound like a wasted opportunity to work with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and only record a short vocal sample, but it sits within Again perfectly.
Thumping beats and shady basslines echo through the release from front to back, spinning through your mind like booze-soaked memories you can’t fully materialise. The whole release bears this sense of continuum; the feeling that, like a night out, Dark could last forever or end in a moment.
Which is a feat, considering the amount of sonic territory SG Lewis covers. Dark descends to low-passed house madness on Again, heaving trap on A.A.T, and set-closing, rapturous-yet-inky pop on Dreaming.
It presents a 21-year-old producer who is itching to show his hand in full, but has the maturity to drip-feed it to his fans bit by bit. Not to mention the talent and skill to pull it off.
It bodes well for Dawn, whatever that may entail. Above all it seems SG Lewis is showing his versatility with this three-part album, curating a cohesive feeling over three massively different sections.
But that’s what a night out is, isn’t it? Anticipation at the beginning, exhilaration in the middle, and at the end? We’ll have to wait for SG Lewis to show us.