Los Angeles techno legend Silent Servant has died

today19/01/2024 8

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Central America-born, Los Angeles-raised techno legend and Sandwell District member Silent Servant has died.

The news was confirmed today, January 19, via his management Triangle Agency to Resident Advisor. His cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

The LA-based DJ and producer, real name John Juan Mendez, was known for his work as part of the Sandwell District collective, running across 2002 to 2011 when the group disbanded, helping to inform a shift in the sound of techno through the ‘00s.

Mendez’ music career spans more than 30 years. He began DJing at the age of 16, and would go on to meet Downwards Records owner Regis soon after, later releasing a string of singles together throughout the 2000s.

Since the split of Sandwell District, Mendez’s solo career saw him perform regularly at Berghain, Tresor, Bassiani and more, and launch a record label alongside Regis and James Ruskin, Jealous God.

Earlier this week, Sandwell District revealed news of an archival compilation set for release in February featuring 12 tracks, titled ‘WHERE NEXT ?‘.

Towards the end of 2023, Mendez released his final work, ‘In Memoriam’, looking back at his previous work in a “deeply personal memoir of a 30-plus year career spent exploring and absorbing the shadowy side of music”.

The body of work distilled the musician’s memories, whilst taking a contemporary approach to his production. It was released on November 24 via Tresor Records.

“This EP is the first time I have been able to take all my memories and influences and distil them into musical form,” Mendez told Mixmag in November.

“From my love of Detroit techno (Model 500 & Cybotron) on ‘M-87’, to the more Wave EBM on ‘M-90’, to the dub techno world of Basic Channel and Chain Reaction on ‘M-99’, and finally to techno from New York, Berlin and the UK of the 2000s on ‘M-00′”.

Listen to Silent Servant’s final record below.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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