Felix K arrives on Blackest Ever Black next month with a front-rank EP of bleak, bombed-out soundboy electronics.
Felix has been active in the underground of his native Berlin since the late ’90s, often working incognito. His roots are in drum-and-bass, and he has repeatedly advanced and invigorated the genre with his own adroitly minimalist, dub-centered productions, making important lateral connections to austere Hard Wax-school techno and more abstract electronic realms. With their Hidden Hawaii label and its small galaxy of subsidiary imprints, meanwhile, Felix and his co-conspirators are futurists who still kill the old way: doggedly DIY, committed to short-run white label culture and covert action.
Even in the context of his wide-ranging discography, Tragedy of the Commons’ 17-minute title track is a stand-alone experiment in form: a labyrinthine, slow-burning dread epic, beatless but crushingly dynamic, its frail minimal synth lines wandering lonely amid plate-shifting bass drones and a dense, disorienting assemblage of field recordings. It’s exemplary Berlin noir: hurt but stoic, pessimistic but unyielding, and closely attuned to the city’s strange psychogeography.