Album Review: BPF – Remote Viewing

Killing Joke’s Paul Ferguson is releasing a seven track E.P. titled “Remote Viewing” on the 24th August. Released under the name BPF (Big Paul Ferguson), the E.P is a mix of vibrant, industrial, post-punk tracks and spoken-word vocals. You can check out the trailer, an artistic interpretation of the song “I Am War” on YouTube now.

Paul Ferguson will also be touring with Killing Joke on their 40th anniversary tour, starting this September.

The opening track, “Hungry Ghosts”, starts with jungle drums before the signature spoken word vocals began. To begin with the vocals really threw me off. I wasn’t really sure that they fit, but as I got further through the E.P. I started to really appreciate them. It’s a very unique style and they completely achieve their desired purpose.

There’s a real electronic tone to this track, but there’s also some chuggy, more metallic style riffs beneath. The whole thing comes together well with the hypnotic, cultish vocals continuing over the top.

The electronica continues with “Reboot”, a melodic, lo-fi groove flows through this one, with a riffy rhythm beneath, carrying the sound. The vocals are more melodic here and there’s very much a Nine Inch Nails vibe throughout. It’s creepy (“help me Jesus” repeated over and over) but massively intriguing and enjoyable.

“The Great Motivator” opens with spacey drums. The overall sound of this song is very spacey and wide open. It’s atmospheric and operatic, with vocals akin to William Shatner’s spoken word work, except much darker. About halfway midway through you get a sense of the scale of the song, the beat constantly strives forward and the bass pumps away throughout. Really cool song.

There’s a more naturalistic feel to the next song, “Terrible Warriors”, as it opens with a bongo rhythm tapping away while the vocals continue on top. It’s such a step away from the previous song, going from massive space noises to small, intimate rhythms. There’s a real drum circle feel and you almost get the sense that you’re sitting listening to someone tell ghost stories around a camp fire. Eventually the electronic sounds come in, but they’re much more laidback and trippy, enhancing the simple bongo rhythm, rather than just replacing it. It’s a simple song, but there’s so much depth to it.

“XBOX” is a dark, soul searching social commentary on modern life. The bass is groovy, which almost feels wrong, opposing the dysfunctional, downbeat lyrics. In general, the sound is really positive and almost dancey, but it actually really works. This was the point where I really started to love the vocals on my first listen. It’s like a lecture set to music. But not like a boring, dragged out lecture you got in school. Like a lecture that makes you really think about life. I don’t think the song would’ve had the same effect if the vocals were just sang.

“I Am War” starts with a rhythmic intro before a metal riff begins playing. The basic structure more or less repeats throughout and you get the feeling of a mantra being repeated. There’s also a little bit more melodic vocals between and beneath the spoken word mantra. It’s not a huge amount, but enough to give it depth.

The final track, titled “Zarzal” has a more dancey sound and feels to it, more melodic vocals, and a super minimalistic vibe. It never really lifts, even though you spend most of the song waiting for it. It’s a very mellow track and instead of trying to finish on a massive high, a ploy used on many albums and E.P.s, it chooses to fade away.

I was blown away by “Remote Viewing”, I didn’t really know what to expect going in, especially considering it was a solo album/side project, as a lot of the time these just feel like knock-off’s of the main band they’re in, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s incredibly refreshing and unique. It’s so smooth and laidback, it’s easy to hit play and before you know it you’re at the end. It’s dark and surreal, but it combines that with relaxing, hypnotic vibes that makes it difficult to turn away from. If you like Nine Inch Nails or any kind of melodic industrial music then you have to check it out.

BPF Remote Viewing track listing

  1. Hungry Ghosts
  2. Reboot
  3. The Great Motivator
  4. Terrible Warriors
  5. X-Box
  6. I am War
  7. Zarzal

Review by Josh Farrell

To pre order the Remote Viewing CD go to: http://www.deadradiostation.com/bpf/ The digital release is available now to purchase through the record label store.

Paul Ferguson is a rock drummer, best known for his work in the post-punk/industrial group Killing Joke and cult English punk band Pink Parts. In 1978 Ferguson became a founding member of Killing Joke and served as their drummer from 1978 to 1987. He is known as ‘Big Paul Ferguson’.

Ferguson, together with bassist Paul Raven, departed from the band in 1987 during the recording of their seventh studio album, Outside The Gate. The last album he recorded with Killing Joke during this period was the 1986 release Brighter than a Thousand Suns.

He subsequently worked on other musical projects, notably with rock outfits Warrior Soul (1987–1990), Murder, Inc. (1991–92) and Crush (1992–93). During the following years Ferguson lived in the United States and Puerto Rico, and became a sculptor and art restorer, specialising in ancient sculptures. He also briefly played with The Orb.

Ferguson rejoined Killing Joke for their 2008 reunion, which saw the original line-up together for the first time since 1982. Ferguson wrote and recorded with Killing Joke for the first time in 23 years on their 2010 studio album Absolute Dissent. He remains with Killing Joke, playing on their April 2012 album release MMXII and subsequent tour, as well as their 2015 release Pylon.

2015 also saw the launch of Boneyard, a line of skull-and-bone jewellery designed and handcrafted by Ferguson . Each unique piece is individually cast and hand finished in solid sterling silver : https://www.boneyardskullrings.com/about