Genghis Tron - Biography
Genghis Tron are a hard to categorize Philadelphia-based trio, most commonly associated with experimental metal and cybercore music—an electro sub-genre of grindcore—due to the band’s unique omission of traditional bass and drums in favor of thrashing synths, drum machines and programmed beats. Originally from the upstate New York town of Poughkeepsie, the group is comprised of Vassar College grads Mookie Singerman (vocals/keyboards), Michael Sochynsky (keyboards, drum programming) and Hamilton Jordan (guitar, drum programming)—the latter of whom described Genghis Tron’s sound as “abrasive rock music with a lot of electronic and progressive elements” in an interview. Since forming in 2004 at college, the diverse metal act has released two full-length albums, several EPs and an entire remix series while touring with the likes of Converge and Behold . . . The Acrtopus throughout the United States and Europe. They are noted for their full “schizoid” sound despite having essentially just a guitar and two keyboards on stage for their live performances.
Having attended school together, Sochynsky (laptop manipulator, with an IDM background) and Jordan (formerly in a metal band) shared musical tastes and vision and wrote a song together—“Ride the Steambolt”—after contemplating Genghis Tron for month. The name was chosen as a sort of portmanteau to something brutal and electronic, and was thought apt and light-heartedly derisive for the futuristic style of doom/ambient metal they were writing. Happily surprised by what they came up with and beginning to work on additional material, they recruited screamer Singerman (formerly of The Fugue) to come aboard as the group’s vocalist. Singerman added a third opposing view to the amalgamation (indie rock abrasiveness and a subtle hip-hop sway), which ended up rounding out the drum-machine driven, pan-absorbent metal the band has since become known for. They sent out demos while still in their first rehearsals, and Maryland-based indie Crucial Blast signed them before they ever played a gig.
Genghis Tron’s first EP Cloak of Love (2005 Crucial Blast) was a 12-minute techno-laced brand of cybergrind/mathcore, which featured a finished version of the band’s first song, “Ride the Steambolt.” They put out a second EP called Cape of Hate the following year while touring with the likes of Akimbo in support of Cloak, pressing a very scant 150 copies that were sold at the live shows. That summer—on June 6 2006—Genghis Tron’s first LP was released, entitled Dead Mountain Mouth (Crucial Blast). It was recorded in 10 days at Godcity Studios in Salem, Massachusetts under the production of Kurt Ballou (of Converge).
While touring throughout 2007, the band sold another limited edition EP called Triple Black Diamond (Crucial Blast), pressing only 444 copies. The following spring they released their sophomore full-length, Board Up The House (2008, Crucial Blast), which was again produced by Ballou at Godcity, this time with more input. The atmospheric doom metal on the album relied less on the techno beats and more on keyboards in weaving the “ocean-sized orchestra,” all from guitar, keys and knobs. Oscillating between IDM, powernoise and mathcore, its loose innovation wasn’t lost on fans and media. Board Up the House reached #37 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and was named Album of the Year by the British magazine, Rock Sound. Singerman’s own Lovepump United released a vinyl version of the album a month after the disc came out, just as the indie label had done for Dead Mountain Mouth and the first EP.
Since that time, Crucial Blast has released a series of Board Up The House remixes, I-V, featuring artists such as Tim Hecker, Nadja and Dudes You Can Trust.