Under his primary pseudonym, Silent Servant, Juan Mendez introduced new sonic and visual languages to techno as part of Sandwell District. Early EPs came via Sandwell and Historia y Violencia, the label he ran with fellow LA mainstay Santiago Salazar. Combining the jittery synth-pop of '80s Sheffield, a post-punk/EBM continuum and the Berlin-Detroit connection, Silent Servant arrived fully formed with raw dancefloor tracks and a remarkable DJ style forged over the previous decades.
Silent Servant's 2012 debut album, Negative Fascination, stands as a defining statement within gritty, wave-inflected techno. Mendez's visual language, evolved from Sandwell District into the stark and colorful palette behind his imprint Jealous God. The label would run from 2013 through 2018, releasing records by the likes of Varg and Broken English Club, as well as Silent Servant; solo and in respective collaborations with 51717 and Marcel Dettmann.
The second Silent Servant full-length, Shadows Of Death And Desire, saw Mendez continue to draw novel connections between EBM, post-punk and techno. He bridged past and the present in real-time on his long-running NTS show, Optimistic Decay. That's also the title of his EP, for L.I.E.S., which begins with an EBM, punk anthem feat. Cabaret Voltaire's Stephen Mallinder concludes with an ominous, 106 BPM slo-mo techno groove. With less lived experience, these elements could feel disparate, yet for Mendez, they form a singular idiom where the only constants are decay and rebirth.
In November 2023, Silent Servant released his last record, In Memoriam via Tresor Records.