Picture, Part 1
Album review by Antares, Independant
Producer, Magick River.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
BIGGER PICTURE speaks directly to those who already suspect something
isn't quite right about The Official Version of Everything.