klay scott - jack of all trades master of none
Jack Of All Trades…Master Of None

I thought long and hard when considering doing this review. Two years, in fact. The reason being, and you’ll read about this further here, is that there’s a couple of songs that Klay Scott, while not the artist, worked as remix producer and had nothing to do with the original content. If you’re confused, read further. You’ll catch on.

This CD-R is, from the words found on the front of the CD, “an unauthorized discography of the works of Klay Scott.” As far as I can tell, this CD was slapped together by a ravenous fan with an extensive collection and too much time on their hands. Said the kettle to the pot. The production quality is pretty good, save for a few pops and crackles hither and yon, and the artwork on both the cover and CD are pretty top-notch for a DIY job.

While this is far from a “greatest hits” for Klay’s flagship band, Circle Of Dust, the majority of tracks are from the CoD catalog. Starting with a clip from a radio interview with the artist in question just prior to the release of Disengage, the disc segues into the album version of “Refractor”. The only track from the 1992 version of Circle Of Dust is “Rational Lies”, a nostalgia piece that, personally, pales in comparison to the remixed ’95 version. A rare acoustic demo version of “Onenemy” proves that Klay can sing and play without the use of electronics. The last CoD song featured here is “Helldweller”, off of the Metamorphosis project.

Klay’s quasi-side project Brainchild is represented by “Deviate”. Although I prefer the CoD remix better, this is just as good. Argyle Park is represented with “Scarred For Life” from Misguided, “Drive, He Said” from the Steve Taylor tribute album I Predict A Clone, and “Lonely” from the travesty that was the Stryper “tribute” Sweet Family Music. Chatterbox, his collaboration with Jeff Bellows, has “Sunshine” (though I would have opted for “Torque”, or something else off of the album).

Third facet of Klay Scott was his work as remixer and producer. Here is his ethereal remix of Klank’s “Animosity (Life After Death Mix)” from the Downside maxi-single; the full “Emerge” intro from Living Sacrifice’s Nonexistent release; the odd Minor Abrasion Mix of Fluffy’s “Hulaville”, and his programming work on friend and former CoD engineer Rivot on the song “Never” from the Demo-Lition II compilation.

Now, the points of contention I mentioned at the start of this long-winded review: The two cuts Klay helped out with friend Tommy Victor of Prong. Not because Prong is a “secular” band, or even because Tommy isn’t a Christian. That’s not even a point of issue for me, ever. Both cuts are well produced and remixed, which shows Klay’s tight professionalism in the business. “Rude Awakening (Klay Angel Mix)” is a remix off of the promo maxi-single which is hard to find anywhere. While the remix is pure Klay, the song is still a Prong song. And although the lyrics contain a certain measure of truth, I would advise the listener to not just blindly accept the message espoused. The Prong cover of The Misfit’s “London Dungeon” from the Violent World tribute, was co-produced and programmed by Klay, and doesn’t have much of his industrial influence. Here, the line “There go those f-ing corpses” appear a few times throughout the song, which will offend those who find such gratuitous language offensive.

The CD closes with an excerpt from the same radio interview that opened the CD, with Klay discussing the making of Disengage and Circle Of Dust’s history and demise.

Despite the two minor contentions, Jack Of All Trades is a fine collection of classics and hard to find material. My only other gripe is the $20 price tag for a CD-R of material I can find on a fileshare program. But, uh, that would be illegal, so forget I said that last part…