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DJ Juan Mendez, techno producer known as Silent Servant, has died

The Central America-born musician was a major force in the Los Angeles techno music scene

Inga Parkel
Friday 19 January 2024 19:12 GMT
Juan Mendez, also known as Silent Servant
Juan Mendez, also known as Silent Servant (Triangle Agency)

Renowned techno producer and DJ Juan Mendez, better known by his stage name Silent Servant, has died.

A cause of death has not yet been released. He was in his mid-40s; however, his exact age is unknown.

Mendez’s death was confirmed by his UK press representative, according to The Guardian.

Born in Central America, Mendez was raised in Los Angeles by Cuban and Mexican parents.

The “Kissing the Ground” musician first began DJing when he was a teenager. He eventually joined the Sandwell District collective, which represented up-and-coming techno artists from 2002 until 2011. A major force within the LA techno music scene, Mendez’s impact on the genre was profound.

“I was never a punk. Ever. I was a new wave nerd, basically,” he said in a 2019 interview. “But I did believe in a very punk rock kind of obsessive dedication to what you do.”

In 2006, he started producing and releasing his own music under the name Silent Servant. His debut record, Negative Fascination, released in 2012, included songs like “Temptation & Desire”, “Invocation of Lust” and “Strange Attractor”.

Juan Mendez, also known as Silent Servant (Triangle Agency)

Over the course of his career, he released several EPs, singles and collaborative projects. Following the Sandwell District’s disbandment, Mendez founded his own label, Jealous God.

A few months ago, in November, he released his latest EP, titled In Memoriam, with Tresor Records. Just three days before his passing, however, he released his latest recording, “Sampler 1 B1 (Regis Edit)”, a collaborative effort with British musician Regis.

Several musicians have mourned Mendez’s passing on X, with musical artist Turk Dietrich calling him “a massive talent and force in the world of electronic music”.

“His work as Silent Servant, and with Sandwell District, was one of the main inspirations for the creation of the Second Woman project,” he tweeted. “This is such a devastating loss.”

“RIP Silent Servant,” @sotajazz commented. “He used our track in a mix once, we’d never met or corresponded before or after. Then we were on the same bill years later and I wanted to introduce myself, but he beat me to it. He identified me in a big crowded room immediately and came to say hi.”

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