MUSIC RECOMMENDATION – SILENT SERVANT

80TH SELECTION – SPECIAL JOHN JUAN MENDEZ (14 AUGUST 1977 – 19 JANUARY 2024)

“The soul might be silent but the servant of the soul has always got a voice and it has got one for a reason.” (Cormac McCarthy) 🫶

HYPNOTIC TECHNO TOUR
SILENT SERVANT’S TOP PAST RELEASES ACCORDING TO US


SILENT SERVANT & FUNCTION
[SANDWELL DISTRICT, 2010]
MELANCHOLIC TECHNO

SILENT SERVANT
[SANDWELL DISTRICT, 2011]
DEEP TECHNO

SILENT SERVANT & SALAZAR
[SANDWELL DISTRICT, 2012]
DUB TECHNO

SILENT SERVANT & LUCY
[MOTE-EVOLVER, 2013]
ATMOSPHERIC TECHNO

SILENT SERVANT & SVRECA
[JEALOUS GOD, 2013]
DRONE-ISH TECHNO

SILENT SERVANT & POWELL
[JEALOUS GOD, 2013]
MELODIC TECHNO

BREAKBEAT TOUR
SILENT SERVANT’S TOP RECENT RELEASES ACCORDING TO US


SILENT SERVANT
[L.I.E.S. RECORDS, 2016]
BREAKBEAT

SILENT SERVANT
[HOSPITAL PROD., 2023]
BREAKBEAT

SILENT SERVANT
[TRESOR RECORDS, 2023]
BREAKBEAT

GOLDEN RELEASE
A SPECIAL MENTION


SILENT SERVANT [HOSPITAL PRODUCTIONS]

A brief historical recap is necessary to understand how important Silent Servant is for the hypnotic techno scene.

In 1991, journalist Matthew Collin summarised the early IDM as such: “If Belgian techno gives us riffs, German techno the noise, British techno the breakbeats, then Detroit supplies the sheer cerebral depth.” With the interplay of the different cultures, the British side focused on the beat, deployed in various forms partly to dynamite pop music, from hard techno to jungle. In 1993, Regis and Female created the hard techno label Downwards, which extended in 2002 to Sandwell District, more minimal. Like Prologue, Sandwell District was a close family of artists, which saw the emergence of talented American producers: Silent Servant, who also became the label’s Art Director, Function and Horvitz as Rrose. Yet the label closed in 2011, four years before Prologue, which shared a similar fate.

Sandwell District is mythic for its high underground values and for having basically transformed Säkho’s minimalism into danceable tracks, providing fresh new sounds to Berghain in its early years. Silent Servant, in particular, was diffusing dope beats in the club, infused with innovative industrial sounds. Additionally, he could also play post-punk records at a bar in Los Angeles, and from this melting pot of charismatic genres came “Negative Fascination” in 2012 on Fernow’s label Hospital Productions.

If “Feed Forward” stands as Sandwell District’s best album, “Negative Fascination” has been a significant milestone on Fernow’s imprint, for setting a bridge between industrial, experimental and hypnotic techno, while incorporating memorable gothic kinematics and deep ambiences. The track “Invocation Of Lust”, in particular, holds an iconic status for us, comparable to Polar Inertia’s “Black Sun” released one year before.

With such impressive works, it is no surprise that artists such as Ness, Claudio PRC, Peter Van Hoesen and Sigha openly confessed to having been greatly influenced by the UK hypnotic techno school. 

From 2014 until his passing, Silent Servant developed more confident melodic chords and naturally transitioned into the realm of UK breakbeat. In the making, he elevated the genre to new heights, as he had always done.

His last release, “In Memoriam“, somewhat carries a dramatic prophetic connotation in its title, at the same time engaging in remembrance.

Have faith that we will not forget you, dear maestro…

TRIBUTE WALL
A SELECTION OF PUBLIC MESSAGES FROM THE SCENE AND FROM OUR COMMUNITY


* Page’s cover picture: Oye Kreuzkoelln in Berlin, a record shop from a member of our community.

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