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Los Angeles techno producer Juan Mendez (Sandwell District, Jealous God) aka Silent Servant delves even further into his recent foray into EBM, teaming up with Ori Ofir on vocal duties for some ice cold Electronic Body Music.
The Sterile Hand sound is part homage to 80s influences but still has Mendez’s sound stamped all over it. The ghosts of Neon Judgement, Klinik, DAF, Wax Trax, Nitzer Ebb etc. are lingering in there somewhere, but across the five tracks that comprise the mini-album, Mendez takes a more stripped back, minimal, almost rudimentary approach. Opening with the jagged, brutalist bassine and detached vox of ‘Personality Test’, then the lines between techno and EBM get smudged on ‘The Hunter’, which kinda sounds like Terence Fixmer / Douglas McCarthy doing a version of Laurent Garnier tune ‘Crispy Bacon’. ‘Security’ shares the same drive and energy with Ori Ofir’s vocals economically deployed and adding an additional layer of darkness. There’s heavier use of vocals on ‘Listen For Water’ which, as on all tracks, are pretty indecipherable, but I don’t think understanding the lyrics is a necessity - it’s more about the atmosphere and texture they create. The beats are put to bed for the untitled closing track - a creepy, spacey, glacial soundscape that makes way for signature uncoiling bassline synth. The whole thing coming off like an acid burnt deconstruction of what we’ve previously heard -- dissolving into nothingness.
If you’ve been digging recent Broken English Club gear, Youth Code, Alessandro Adriani etc. then don your faded Front 242 T-shirt and definitely check this out.
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- Sterile Hand by Sterile Hand (Silent Servant)
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