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Genghis Tron

Offering a prescient and uncompromising mix of extreme metal and electronic dance music, Genghis Tron delivered a uniquely punishing sound in their initial incarnation in the 2000s, while evolving into a more contemplative sound that still maintained their intensity in the 2020s. The group's music layers aggressive guitar patterns over electronic keyboards and percussion, though the melodic elements enhance the physical impact of their sound rather than buffering it. Genghis Tron earned a reputation among adventurous metal fans with 2006's Dead Mountain Mouth and 2008's Board Up the House, two efforts that presented their work at its most confrontational, while 2021's Dream Weapon offered a more mature version of their music, still uncompromised but with a far greater sense of nuance and a broader tonal palate. Genghis Tron was formed in 2004 in Poughkeepsie, New York. The initial lineup was a trio, with Hamilton Jordan on guitar, Michael Sochynsky on keyboards and programming, and Mookie Singerman on vocals and keyboards. The three were all attending Vassar College when they began exchanging ideas, with their influences including the Dillinger Escape Plan, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and Squarepusher. After cutting a demo they titled Laser Bitch, Genghis Tron released a five-song EP, 2005's Cloak of Love, which was released by Crucial Blast Records. The EP and the group's live shows attracted the attention of the adventurous metal label Relapse Records, who signed Genghis Tron and put out their first full length album, 2006's Dead Mountain Mouth. The album was a striking exercise in what the band, with tongue in cheek, called "Nintendocore," and the band toured in support. Their second LP, Board Up the House, followed in 2008; it received an enthusiastic review in the New York Times and was named "Album of the Year" by the British music magazine Rock Sound. Genghis Tron's busy schedule of recording and touring began taking a toll on the musicians, and in 2010 they went on hiatus. Between attending college, starting families, and working their day jobs, real life kept Hamilton Jordan and Michael Sochynsky occupied, but they continued to work on songs and exchanged musical ideas with one another. By 2018, Sochynsky was living in New York City, and when Jordan paid him a visit, the result was an impromptu songwriting session that convinced them it was time to start work on a third album. Mookie Singerman was not involved in the creation of the new material, while singer Tony Wolski and drummer Nick Yacyshyn took part in the sessions, which featured both live and programmed percussion as well as far more intricate layered arrangements than before. Dream Weapon, an album the group described as "more meditative, hypnotic, and maybe psychedelic" than their earlier projects, was released by Relapse in March 2021.
© Mark Deming /TiVo
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