Sep 2018 05

Circle of Dust - alt_MachinesCircle of Dust
Category: Industrial / Metal
Album: alt_Machines
Blurb: A remix companion to Circle of Dust’s comeback album, reinterpreting the project’s industrialized metal onslaught into a furious array of electronic styles that equal the intensity and complexity of the originals.


The return of Circle of Dust in 2015 was something of a momentous occasion, which culminated in the reissuing of the project’s past discography followed by Machines of Our Disgrace in late 2016, the first new album in 18 years. On this album, Klayton revised the industrialized metal aesthetic of his early project – full of caustic dance grooves, grating heavy metal riffs, and aggressive vocals – with a refined production sensibility that has since become his signature in Celldweller and his numerous other outlets. Now, we have this companion album, alt_Machines, presenting a set of remixes that do well augment the diverse range of styles Circle of Dust and Klayton’s FiXT imprint has always championed.

As to be expected, the various remixes on alt_Machines run a gamut of hybridized electronic, rock, and metal styles, keeping the listener engaged and in a constant state of flux. Transforming the original’s industrial/metal onslaught into a pulsating dance floor track equal in brutal intensity, Blue Stahli begins the proceedings with his remix of “Humanarchy,” the song’s harmonized chorus taking on an even creepier, more mechanical vibe simply by virtue of the faster tempo. It’s an auspicious start to the album, followed by the melodic atmospheres and breakneck rhythms of Voicians’ drum & bass makeover of “Neurachem,” the samples taking prominence over the lyrics to enhance the song’s insidious nature. Similarly, Raizer’s remix of “Outside In” infuses the melancholy ballad with a heavy dose of drum & bass energy, and while not a bad interpretation, this writer can’t help but feel that the song’s emotional core is diminished amid the flurry of breakbeats and warbling synths. On the other hand, Zardonic’s remix of the non-album track “Dust to Dust” and DJ Hidden’s remix of “Machines of Our Disgrace” both match the viciousness of the original versions with unbridled drum & bass mania, while a more danceable electro approach is favored by Zeromancer on “Neophyte,” the subtle vocoder effects of the original now much more in the fore amid that throbbing and menacing bass line. The same can be said of 3FORCE’s trancelike assault on “alt_Human,” the squelching bass sequences and searing synth leads recalling some of Klayton’s early Celldweller experiments like “Kemikal,” while the drumbeats sometimes bear a likeness to the synthwave predilections of Scandroid. Sebastian Komor’s forceful EBM remix of “Contagion” is enjoyable enough with its steely synth bass and infectious beat, although the repetition of the first syllable – i.e. “cunt” – treads that fine line of funnily clever and downright tasteless, but it does create a hook for the track nonetheless. The Plague remix of “Embracing Entropy” is particularly notable for its more straightforward electro/rock approach with the heavier guitar and vocal arrangements helping to make this not a simple remix but a wholly new version that complements the original quite well. But the true standout on the album is the remix of “Hive Mind” by The Anix, the song’s beastly mechanoid fury now replaced by lush ambient textures underscored by pensive beat structures, making for a chilled out emotional version.

Apart from the “Drum Machines of Our Disgrace” mashup, alt_Machines is rounded out by Blue Stahli’s remixes from the Circle of Dust deluxe reissues. Although they are sonically on par with the rest of the album, this writer can’t but feel that their presence feels somewhat tacked on for the sake of giving fans another avenue to obtain them rather than purchasing the deluxe editions of the past discography; they thematically don’t seem to fit in. It’s also a shame that the Animattronic remix of “Hive Mind,” released as a standalone single, was not included as its incendiary dance floor energy would have counted it among the album’s best. Overall though, alt_Machines is a fine complement to Machines of Our Disgrace, with these reinterpreted versions offering a broader view of the industrial/metal powerhouse that is Circle of Dust. Dance, drift, destroy, deviate… alt_Machines has it all for you.
Track list:

  1. Humanarchy [Blue Stahli Remix]
  2. Neurachem [Voicians Remix]
  3. Contagion [Sebastian Komor Remix]
  4. Hive Mind [The Anix Remix]
  5. Embracing Entropy (feat. Celldweller) [The Plague Remix]
  6. Outside In [Raizer Remix]
  7. alt_Human [3FORCE Remix]
  8. Machines of Our Disgrace [DJ Hidden Remix]
  9. Neophyte [Zeromancer Remix]
  10. Dust to Dust [Zardonic Remix]
  11. Drum Machines of Our Disgrace
  12. Deviate [Blue Stahli Remix]
  13. Nothing Sacred [Blue Stahli Remix]
  14. Yurasuka [Blue Stahli Remix]
  15. Bed of Nails [Blue Stahli Remix]

Circle of Dust
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube
Website ,Webstore, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
FiXT Store
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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