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Sandwell District's Silent Servant Has Died
Christian Eede , January 19th, 2024 13:31

The Los Angeles-based DJ and producer's death was confirmed by his management

John Juan Mendez, the Los Angeles-based techno DJ and producer otherwise known as Silent Servant, has died.

The news of his passing was confirmed earlier today (January 19) by Mendez's management, Triangle Agency, who did not disclose a cause of death. Mendez's partner, Simone Ling, and the musician Luis Vasquez, otherwise known as The Soft Moon, are also believed to have passed away in the same incident.

A prominent artist in the techno scene, Mendez had been due to play a selection of live shows through this year as part of Sandwell District, the collective formed of himself, Regis and Function. An archival compilation featuring past tracks by the trio, WHERE NEXT?, was also announced for forthcoming release earlier this week.

Mendez had been producing and playing techno music for over 30 years, with some of his first released productions coming under the moniker Jasper in 1998. He connected with Regis in 1999 and, from 2002, formed part of the Sandwell District collective together with Regis, Function and Female.

Having reestablished himself as Silent Servant, Mendez's first solo release with Sandwell District was the three-track 12-inch The Silent Morning, which came out in 2006. A number of further records followed with the collective and label over the next five years until its initial dissolution. He also served as Sandwell District's art director during his time with the project.

Mendez went on to co-found the label Jealous God together with Regis and James Ruskin. It released records by the likes of Broken English Club, Terence Fixmer, Varg and Marcel Dettmann, with the last one coming out in 2018.

As Silent Servant, Mendez's music was issued on labels such as Semantica, L.I.E.S., Cititrax and, most recently in 2023, Tresor. Sandwell District also reconvened in 2023 to reissue their sole studio album, Feed-Forward, and play a series of live shows.

In a tribute shared via social media, Daniel Avery said: "I once asked Silent Servant what a record was as he was playing a reliably beautiful set. The next time I saw Juan he had bought me my own copy of the vinyl. An amazing artist and incredibly gentle guy. RIP."

The label PAN wrote: "Juan Silent Servant, one of the kindest souls we encountered in music and beyond... an incredibly sad loss."