February 17, 2016

20 years later, Circle of Dust is back

Yesterday was the official, formal announcement that Circle of Dust is back. If you are reading this, you are probably like me, and Circle of Dust was your introduction to the industrial genre back in the early 90's. From yesterday's announcement...


Circle of Dust, the 90s industrial / electronic-rock project created by visionary artist/producer Klayton, marked the beginning of the musical career of the man who later went on to create independent success as Celldweller, as well as forming his own label - FIXT. Along with four full-length Circle of Dust albums in the 90s (Circle of Dust, Brainchild, Metamorphosis, Disengage), Klayton created a side-project under the name Argyle Park, which featured a vast collection of guest collaborators, including Tommy Victor of Prong, J.G. Thirlwell of Foetus and Mark Salomon (Stavesacre/Crucified).

Locked away collecting "dust" for 20+ years, the rights to the Circle of Dust & Argyle Park albums were unavailable to Klayton as the original labels they were signed to shut down in the mid-90s. After 2 decades of pursuing a deal to re-gain ownership of the albums, Klayton was finally able to reclaim the rights in 2015.

As Klayton began planning the remastering and re-release of the original albums, a new idea began to grow. He decided to not only re-release each album, but to fully resurrect the project and create a new full-length Circle of Dust album, to be released December 2016, nearly 20 years after the last Circle of Dust release.

Not only are all the re-releases being remastered, but each will include demos, unreleased bonus tracks, acoustic/alternate versions of tracks as well as some new remixes, with each album being released every 8 weeks, starting with the Self-Titled on March 4th, 2016.

Here is a brand new Circle of Dust track, Contagion, available as a free download.

The image above is the original Circle of Dust logo, and a sticker I displayed on my car in the mid-90's. I probably got more comments on it than any other sticker on my car, and a friend actually got the same sticker and placed it on the exact same location of his car in 1996.

I have followed Klayton's career since I first heard Circle of Dust in 1994 or so. From Circle of Dust to Argyle Park to Angel Dust to Celldweller, I have tried to pay attention and listen to a lot of it. Unfortunately, most of Klayton's music, while super-impressive from a technical and production standpoint, has not grabbed me like the stuff from the 90's. I'll admit this is probably mostly due to nostalgia. His work as Celldweller has been unbelievably extensive, and he does a great job connecting to the fans and offering all his music for reasonable prices with tons of free downloads.

Argyle Park is far and away my favorite release from Klayton, and all the guest vocalists and musicians are probably the reason for that (he left out Jyro and Jeff Bellew above). The "final" Circle of Dust album, 1998's Disengage, would be my second-favorite. Third would be the self-titled Circle of Dust album, which in March will be re-issued for the second time. Jason Morehead wrote a great essay about this album last year, celebrating the 20th anniversary of it's re-release:
Circle of Dust’s Circle of Dust

Circle of Dust was released in 1992, and then again in 1995. I have never taken the time to truly compare them side-by-side. Now the album will see a 2016 release, and you can pre-order it here.

One of the most confusing things about Circle of Dust early on was all the re-releases and different versions. Not only was the self-titled album released twice in three years, the other early Circle of Dust album, Brainchild, was also released twice in a short span. That original release even had a different band name--Brainchild--and the album was titled Mindwarp. Confused? Me too.

Finally, here is my favorite Circle of Dust song, and also the most mellow song Klayton has ever released...

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