One challenge in making modern rhythmic electronic music that stands out—separate from concocting seductive grooves and melodies—is both appeasing and surprising the dancefloor. A musician can’t alienate the club constituency, but if he’s just following genre and production trends, revelation won’t greet the revelers.
SG Lewis has a firm handle on this. As evidenced on this year’s entrancing Dusk EP, the rising English artist amalgamates his numerous influences—the keyboard arpeggios reminiscent of ’80s electro, the beats straight out of hip-hop, the romantic introspection of his vocalists borrowing from both indie and R&B—to make each song a discovery unlinkable to the copycat sounds du jour. Mood-setting opener “Sunsets Pt. 1” creates the same warming synth effect of a Tycho jam, but then segues right into the invigorating party-starter “Sunsets Pt. 2,” sung by Frances. The Latin-flavored, piano-kissed “Aura’ follows, and the EP’s narrative remains blissfully unpredictable for three more songs.
Similar to Robyn’s Body Talk hat trick, Lewis is platform-releasing a three-EP concept work called Dusk, Dark, Dawn, which aims to simulate a full night at the club. The forthcoming Dark—the peak-hour successor to Dusk’s party initiator—has already been teased through “Better” (with Clairo) and the most recent (and remix-friendly) “Hurting,” featuring AlunaGeorge. Expect to hear those, along with material from Dusk and 2015 Shivers EP, at Vinyl, and prepare to be impressed with Lewis’ musical breadth—and how it pulsates to enrapturing effect.
SG LEWIS October 16, 8 p.m., $19-$32. Vinyl, 702-693-5000.