John Juan Mendez, aka Silent Servant, is no stranger to mutant club music.
In the mid-2000s, the LA-based producer, DJ and designer was best-known for being part of venerated techno collective Sandwell District. When it disbanded in 2011, Mendez went on to found Jealous God with Karl O’Conner and James Ruskin, quickly distinguishing the label through its distinct, post-punk aesthetic and tendency to showcase explorative, outsider sounds. His own Silent Servant project bears the same hallmarks, with debut LP Negative Fascination walking the line between warehouse techno, post-punk and industrial. Released in 2013, it was a record which wore its influences with a snarling pride and helped renew interest in the darker corners of the dancefloor.
Now, five years later, we’re getting a follow-up. Entitled Shadows of Death and Desire, the name itself suggests Mendez hasn’t abandoned his outsider MO. However, coming off the back of five years spent touring, there’s a frayed-nerve urgency this time around – a rawness and ambitious experimentalism. Gritted teeth analogue workouts sit alongside melancholic electronics and guitar feedback. The album also features a reunion between Mendez and vocalist Camella Lobo, with whom he worked alongside on the Tropic of Cancer project. Above all, Shadows of Death and Desire is predicated on some soul searching on the part of Mendez. “What happens with failure? Disillusionment. I know it’s in a good place – I want to touch it, but I don’t want to live there. This is the not the person you are – don’t be this person. Stop.”
We’re excited to host the first listen of the album in its entirety. Stream it above.
Shadows of Death and Desire is out 8 December via Hospital Productions.