Friday, 9 September 2011

Album review by Antares, independant producer, Magick River

Bigger Picture, Part 1

As an independent music producer I tend to network with kindred spirits, and sometimes I receive pleasant surprises in the post. The most recent CD surprise was a massive labor of love by somebody I have yet to meet, but whom I feel I already know. His name is Dave Blackman and he's married to a jazz singer and pianist named Rebecca. I don't know how long Dave has been working on this epic project called THE BIGGER PICTURE - but he's just completed Part One, recording under the name Bluff Ultimate & The Ultimatum.

A large part of the music consists of meticulously layered choral voices, inspired no doubt by Gregorian Chants and perhaps an early childhood participation in church choirs - but African drums soon burst upon the soundscape, followed by snatches of bluesy vaudeville, jazzy burlesque, and even country music. Stitching the musical patchwork together is a narrative thread rooted in contemporary cosmomythology, with evocative allusions to the Grail Bloodlines, Zecharia Sitchin's Sumerian Skygods (the much-maligned Anunnaki), and linking it all to Neo-Nazis and the New World Order Illuminati.

The scope of Dave Blackman's musical and thematic vision is epic, to say the least - and to attempt such a project in a home studio with digital samplers, rhythm sequencers, guitars, keyboards - and the low-budget assistance of a few good friends - is, well, extremely courageous or foolhardy (depending on the listener's tendency to be empathetic or hostile).

Nevertheless, Blackman's wry sense of humor offsets the exopolitical seriousness and sonority of his musical saga - and brings it back home to a strangely familiar soundtrack for a docudrama on the origins and destiny of the human species. His robust musicianship ensures that the music is generally listenable and often even inspiring.

This isn't an easily categorizable release - and I admit to being partial to the offbeat and unexpected in music. What Dave Blackman is attempting with this album reminds me of a series of illustrated bible stories I was exposed to as a child. However, the intent is hardly religious, as the information encoded in the narrative is essentially a deconstruction of religious orthodoxy.

THE BIGGER PICTURE speaks directly to those who already suspect something isn't quite right about The Official Version of Everything.


Thursday, 8 September 2011

New recordings on the way

We have just started to record some new songs for the next CD, starting with "Robin Goodfellow" and "Tell No-one". These will be officially released sometime before Christmas 2011, with a few special recordings/arrangements for everyone on our mailing list!

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Thanks. x

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

New Album Release

Bigger Picture, Part 1
The Bigger Picture, Part 1
by Bluff Ultimate & The Ultimatum
Songs by Dave Blackman

After 4 years of writing, recording, mixing, mastering and a few mighty arguments, it's finally here... The Bigger Picture, Part 1. Set to be released in July 2011, this album is a history of the world and the hidden forces that control it.

CDs and downloads will be available at CD Baby and the album will also be available on itunes, Napster, Spotify etc in the near future.
Album information, lyrics and artwork can be found on our
music page.