[20 June 2011]
Juan Mendez is perhaps best known for his smooth, functional, and elegant techno music as Silent Servant, a member of the illustrious Sandwell District crew. Yet, Mendez was a postpunk kid before he ever got into techno. And while he occasionally does bring a postpunk sensibility to his Silent Servant work, Tropic of Cancer, a collaboration with Camella Lobo, is the place where the influence really shines. Mendez has admitted to Cabaret Voltaire’s The Voice of America as being a life-changing record, and on “Be Brave” the debt in scuzzy cold vocal effects and eerie looping minor chord guitars is so great that Richard H Kirk himself couldn’t help but repay the homage with a remix on the B-side. The single comes to us thanks to Regis’s Downwards label, the legendary Birmingham home of dark and industrial-tinged techno.