Circle of Dust

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Circle of Dust
OriginNew York City
GenresChristian rock (early), electronic rock, industrial metal, industrial rock
Years active1988–1998, 2015–present
LabelsR.E.X., Flying Tart, FiXT
Associated actsCelldweller, Argyle Park, Klank, Level
Websitecircleofdust.net
MembersKlayton
Past membersDaren "Klank" Diolosa
John "og" Lopez
Jason Tilton
Chris Donahue
Rich "Wretch" Fantasia

Circle of Dust is an industrial rock project formed by Klayton, initially known as Scott Albert, who is now more widely known for his Celldweller project. During its early years, Circle of Dust, along with contemporaries Mortal and Deitiphobia, brought industrial metal to the Christian alternative metal scene. Circle of Dust spawned numerous offspring projects such as Klank, fronted by former Circle of Dust live-show guitarist Daren "Klank" Diolosa; Klayton's pseudonymous bands Argyle Park and Brainchild; and Chatterbox, which featured future members of Stavesacre. After buying back the rights to all of Circle of Dust's releases, Klayton re-launched the project in 2015.

History[edit]

Formation, Circle of Dust and Brainchild (1991–1995)[edit]

Klayton formed Circle of Dust in New York City after the disbandment of his former late '80s thrash metal outfit Immortal.[1] Signed to R.E.X. Records in 1991, Klayton self-recorded and self-produced all of the Circle of Dust material. The self-titled debut album, released by R.E.X. in 1992, has been described as "post-Pretty Hate Machine industrial pop".[2] That same year, Klayton, using the pseudonym Tox, teamed up with R.E.X. president Doug Mann that same year to create Brainchild and release Mindwarp, which featured music more intense than Circle of Dust's debut and showcased dark cyberpunk-esque lyrics[3] that were largely political in nature, and harsher, more thrash-influenced metal guitars. The now-defunct television show MTV Sports used part of the song "Deviate" for its long-time intro.[1] After the release of both albums, Klayton also produced the Metamorphosis compilation (1993), which collected outtakes from Circle of Dust, Mindwarp, and Living Sacrifice's Nonexistent, the latter of which featured Klayton's programming work. The compilation also included Klayton's own remixes of songs from each of those three albums.

In 1994, R.E.X. obtained a new distribution deal and pressed Klayton for a new release. As a stopgap measure, he re-recorded and remixed portions of Brainchild's Mindwarp album and re-issued it under the Circle of Dust moniker, altering the cover art to reflect the album's new status. R.E.X., however, urged Klayton, who was touring incessantly, to record a brand-new album; instead, Klayton opted to completely re-record the Circle of Dust's debut and album, the sonic quality of which he had been strongly dissatisfied with.[4][5] This re-issue (1995), with vastly improved musicianship and recording quality,[2] scrapped three songs and included four new ones, but retained identical artwork.[4] Circle of Dust toured heavily to promote both re-issues. The live touring band, by this point, included Daren "Klank" Diolosa on guitars, Chris Donohue on bass and keyboard, and Jason Tilton on drums.[6][7]

When the 1995 tour concluded, Circle of Dust made plans to write and record new material. Unfortunately, R.E.X. lost its distribution deal, slid into bankruptcy, and found itself unable to pay the musicians money they were owed. Even though R.E.X. was not solvent enough to distribute any new Circle of Dust material, the label refused to let Circle of Dust out of their contract to seek another label. As a result, Klayton opted to disband the touring lineup and put Circle of Dust on hiatus while awaiting the outcome of R.E.X.'s financial situation.[3]

Hiatus and side projects (1995-1998)[edit]

In between touring and recording for Circle of Dust, Klayton kept busy with a variety of other projects. In 1994, he contributed to and produced a side project with members of The Crucified called Chatterbox, which released Despite, its sole album. That same year, Klayton teamed up with friend Buka and began work on yet another side project, Argyle Park, under three pseudonyms: Dred, Deathwish, and Celldweller. Argyle Park would go on to attain notoriety equal to that of Circle of Dust, losing the distinction of being a mere side project. In 1996, Klayton produced and programmed Still Suffering, the debut album of former Circle of Dust guitarist Daren "Klank" Diolosa. The unreleased songs Klank had written for Circle of Dust the year prior ended up on this album.[8]

After Klayton put Circle of Dust on hiatus in 1995, he worked with illusionist Criss Angel to work on a theatrical music and magic show called Angeldust.[9] It was during his work with Angel that Klayton changed his name from Scott Albert to Klay Scott, a nickname Angel gave him to denote his ability to "take sounds and shape them as if they were clay".[5] Klayton and Angel worked for over two years to finalize their multi-media show and released an initial album of music in 1998 called Musical Conjurings from the World of Illusion. During that same period of creativity, Klayton also recorded a posthumous Circle of Dust album as a formal gesture of farewell.[10]

Disengage (1998)[edit]

Released in 1998 by Flying Tart Records, Disengage marked the formal end of Circle of Dust and contained reworkings of earlier songs (1991-1995) Klayton had written, some of which he had intended to release back in 1995 on a new Circle of Dust album.[9] Klayton had rearranged and melded these older songs with new forms of music with which Klayton had been experimenting,[11] thus becoming hybrids of Klayton's older, faster, riff-based industrial-metal style and newer dance and ambient influences, with a stronger focus on songwriting. Thus the album was markedly different, musically, from the earlier Circle of Dust and Brainchild albums. Klayton closed the album with a selection of remixes, two of which were produced by Dan Leveler, who, it was later revealed, was Klayton's younger brother and who later became a solo industrial/electronic artist in his own right, recording under the name Level. The liner notes of Disengage contains excerpts of an interview in which Klayton explained why he had disbanded Circle of Dust and started anew with Angeldust.[citation needed]

Much like Klayton's experiences with R.E.X., his short deal with Flying Tart provided a number of frustrations. Although Klayton intended to release Disengage in 1997 and precede its release with an EP of Disengage remixes titled Refractorchasm, Flying Tart canceled the EP's release and delayed Disengage until 1998, requiring Klayton to tack the EP onto Disengage in order to ensure the release of the music.[12] The label also reduced the length of the album's art booklet, which Klayton self-designed. Within two weeks of signing his contract with Flying Tart, the label was bought out and dissolved, ensuring the album saw extremely limited distribution.[13]

Return and Machines of Our Disgrace (2015–2017)[edit]

In November 2015, Klayton announced that he had obtained the rights to the entire Circle of Dust catalog, including the Metamorphosis compilation and Argyle Park side project, and decided to revive his Circle of Dust moniker, stating on YouTube, "I ... decided to dive back into production as Circle of Dust for the new Celldweller album. I wanted to take what I'm doing now and reinterpret it in the way I used to produce. ... There is an official Circle of Dust remix of "Jericho" on End of an Empire. ... There's another track coming, brand-new, with Circle of Dust involved in the production, and it will be in your hands before the end of this year."[14] Klayton also announced the 2016 re-release (with bonus content) of the entire Circle of Dust catalog on his FiXT label.[15]

On March 4, 2016, Klayton released the remaster of the 1992 self-titled album,[16] which included a bonus track on the deluxe edition, "Neophyte", from the fifth studio album coming in December 2016.[17] Also included in the deluxe edition are instrumental demos, a remix on "Nothing Sacred" from Blue Stahli, an acoustic version of "Onenemy", and their instrumental tracks.[15] Circle of Dust's fifth studio album, Machines of Our Disgrace, was released in December 2016, on Klayton's own label FiXT.[18]

Reception[edit]

Circle of Dust was popular in Christian alternative metal circles during most of the 1990s. In writing the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music, Mark Allan Powell refers to the band as "the quintessential Christian industrial rock group."[10] Unusual for an underground alternative Christian band of the time, Circle of Dust gained nearly as much exposure and appreciation in mainstream industrial audiences as it did among Christian audiences.[4] Circle of Dust, along with Argyle Park, are regularly cited as influences by modern-day Christian industrial, industrial-metal, and electronic rock bands. Continued interest had been sufficient enough that, in the early 2000s, a small independent record company called Retroactive Records obtained the rights to the old Circle of Dust, Argyle Park, Brainchild, and Metamorphosis albums, remastered them, and re-issued them in limited runs of 1,000 each. However, Retroactive Records produced the re-issues without the creative input or supervision of Klayton, who has expressed his displeasure at the fact that his old works were marketed again without his permission and without him receiving any royalties.[citation needed]

As early as 1994, Circle of Dust (along with Argyle Park) had been criticized heavily by some Christian music press and by numerous fans for not having religious enough lyrics, or for prioritizing music over evangelism.[4] These issues culminated in Klayton abandoning the Christian music industry entirely after the release of Disengage, a decision he explained at great length in a 1998 interview with HM Magazine.[13]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album Label
1992 Circle of Dust (Remastered 2016) R.E.X.
1994 Brainchild (Remastered 2016)
1995 Circle of Dust (1995 re-recording)
1998 Disengage (Remastered 2016) Flying Tart[19][20]
2016 Machines of Our Disgrace FiXT Music

Other releases[edit]

  • Telltale Crime (1992 VHS release of "Telltale Crime" video)
  • Celldweller's End of an Empire – "Jericho (Circle of Dust Remix)" (2015)
  • Scandroid featuring Circle of Dust's "Pro-bots & Robophobes" (2016)

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Director
1992 "Telltale Crime"
2016 "Contagion" Klayton
2016 "Machines of Our Disgrace"
2016 "alt_Human"

Singles[edit]

Year Song Album
2016 "Contagion" Machines of Our Disgrace
2016 "Neophyte"
2016 "Machines of Our Disgrace"
2017 "Dust to Dust" non-album single

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • Circle of Dust/Brainchild split 7" EP (1993, R.E.X.) – "Dissolved" (Circle of Dust) and "Telltale Crime" (Brainchild)
  • Metamorphosis: Brainchild / Living Sacrifice / Circle of Dust Remixes (1993, R.E.X.) – "Dissolved (Disintegration Dub)", "Consequence (Temporary Mix)", "Consequence (Eternal Mix)", "Self Inflict" and "Daraq"
  • I Predict a Clone: A Steve Taylor Tribute (1994, R.E.X.) – "Am I in Sync?"
  • Can You Dig It? III (1994, R.E.X.) – "Regressor (Aggressive Mix)" and "Dissolved"
  • Doom & Gloom: Visions of the Apocalypse (1995, Nesak International Records) – "Parasite"
  • Compe Noctem Volume 1 (1998, Bleeding Edge Media/Carpe Noctem Magazine) – "Goodbye"
  • Jack of All Trades - Master of None: An Unauthorized Discography of the Works of Klay Scott (1999 authorized bootleg) – "Refractor" (with interview intro), "Deviate", "Rational Lies", "Onenemy" (unreleased acoustic demo), "Heldweller" and a Klay Scott interview
  • Jack of All Trades - Master of None 2: An Unauthorized Discography of the Works of Klay Scott (2000 authorized bootleg) – "Nothing Sacred", "Descend" (Brainchild), "Consequence (Temporary Mix)", "Dissolved (Disintegration Dub)", "Consequence (Eternal Mix)", "Chasm", "Am I in Sync?" and "Goodbye"
  • Lightning Strikes Twice: A Retroactive Records Sampler (2006, Retroactive Records) – "Regressor"
  • Lightning Strikes Twice Again (Vol Two) (2006, Retroactive Records) – "Refractor"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Waters, Scott (2007). "Circle of Dust". No Life 'til Metal. Open Publishing. Retrieved October 13, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Torreano, Bradley (2007). "Circle of Dust - Circle of Dust". Allmusic. Retrieved October 13, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Circle of Dust Biography". Automatapedia. Open Publishing. 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2007.[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d Pyle, Josh. "Radio Free Wheaton interview with Circle of Dust". Retrieved April 8, 2009.[dead link]
  5. ^ a b "Klay Scott interview with RIM Magazine". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
  6. ^ "dusted.com archive - reviews - Gavin". Gavin. Archived from the original on November 4, 1999. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
  7. ^ "dusted.com archive - live images". Archived from the original on April 15, 2000. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
  8. ^ "Klank interview". hardradio.com. January 14, 1997. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
  9. ^ a b "Circle of Dust interview". The Garlic Press. 1997. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  10. ^ a b Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 175. ISBN 1-56563-679-1.
  11. ^ Klay Scott: Jack of All Trades
  12. ^ "dusted.com archive-reviews-Transcendence". Transcendence. Archived from the original on June 19, 2002. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
  13. ^ a b Morrow, Matt. "Klayton: Circle of Dust on leaving R.E.X. Records". HM Magazine. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2007.
  14. ^ "Ask Celldweller EP.30: Official Circle of Dust Announcement and more!", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8EieWg94Eg
  15. ^ a b Childers, Chad (February 19, 2016). "Circle of Dust, 'Contagion' – Exclusive Song Premiere". Loudwire. Townsquare Media. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  16. ^ "Circle of Dust - Circle of Dust (Remastered)". Fixt. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  17. ^ Frazier, Kelly. "First Listen to New Circle Of Dust Track "Neophyte", Bonus Track Featured on the Re-Release of the Debut Self-Titled Album from 1992". Huffington Post. AOL. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  18. ^ "Circle of Dust - Machines of Our Disgrace". Fixt. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  19. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20010713013634/http://www.hmmagazine.com/issue72/72Albums.htm
  20. ^ McGovern, Brian Vincent (July–August 1998). "Album Reviews: CIRCLE OF DUST Disengage". HM Magazine (72). ISSN 1066-6923.

External links[edit]