Although his name may not be well-known, Rob Rives has worked behind the scenes with several of house music's most well-known artists, most notably as the engineer for hard'n'soul superstars Danny Tenaglia and Francois K, as well as co-producing remixes for Kraftwerk, Underworld, and Can. With this release, Rives proves himself to be more than a technical expert, assembling this collection of immaculately produced tracks that engage the listener emotionally as well as cognitively. Rives' music is clearly connected to the original garage sound of New York, but much like his peers, the historical context of his music flows beneath a river of modern sound manipulations. Acoustic guitars and diva wails become disengaged from their point of origin, plummeting into the mix of whirling atmospherics. Tribal heartbeat thumps shake dancefloors on "Happenings" and "Doing Shows Pt. 1," and lighter tracks like "Late Night" take a slightly more European turn, owing much to the early rave-era sounds of 808 State. Guest vocals by Wanda Robinson give "Complex" an urban hip-hop flavor. Finally, "Clear" strips away all of the archetype beats, leaving only Rives' clearest vision of sound intact. Far more realized than most of his contemporary's albums, Rives proves himself far more than a cog in house music's machinery. It even leaves you wondering if his talent has been a little understated on past projects.
AllMusic Review by Joshua Glazer