Sandy Rivera new album The Blackwiz Farm

The first review for Sandy's new album The Blackwiz Farm drops in from our friends at (review by Guy Hornsby):

Sandy Rivera is a perennial of house music. To many, he's the purveyor of warm, instrument-led house music in its most classic form. But he's far from the one-trick pony, and his output's varied greatly in his years at the mixing desk. One of his many monikers is Blackwiz, and it's certainly caused both consternation (from the traditional Rivera fanbase) and delight in the past. 2010 sees the five-year gap since his last long-player bridged, and it's Blackwiz that gets the spotlight.

Opening track Aurei 2010 may sound like a middle ground between Rivera's classics and this alter-ego with its Finally-evoking keys, and it's a lighter moment among the eight tracks, but it's more of a gentle intro, before the real character is revealed in its successor Reguide. Heavy percs and a metallic bassline are ovelayed by retro stabs, with wonderfully opened out pads, but this is a tauter, more punchy angle than we're used to from Rivera, and it's a welcome departure, even if it's at the risk of shedding some of his core support.

Seclusion and Lost Trail see him fully migrate to bleepy, electronic house, complete with rasping synths and squelching bass, while REDIAL borders on Deadmau5 and Toolroomesque muscular electro-house. If you can bypass the gnashing of teeth from Kings Of Tomorrow devotees, it certainly sounds like Rivera's having a lot of fun free from its shackles. Organized Noize 3 2010 is techy, looping, main-room stuff, and while vocals permeate Cosmo Bar, Undiscovered is all swathes of synth and clicks and snares. Worth a listen for non Sandy Rivera fans certainly, and even those startled faithful may be rewarded with more listens. It certainly sounds like the artist is enjoying a new lease of life.

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