Producer and songwriter, Felix Bergman was born and raised in Oakland, CA and recently moved to Austin, TX to immerse himself in the wealth of the city’s diverse music styles and experimental elements that foster creativity. On his first night in Austin he caught a show at the Continental Club with Dale Watson & his Lonestars, learned the two-step, then caught an electronic post-rock show at the Mohawk. For Felix, these seemingly disparate styles of music share common traits of steady tempos, insistent up-beats, and rhythmic dialogue between instruments.
The band will celebrate the release of their self-titled debut EP Polarizado on October 18, 2017 at the Hard Luck Lounge. The name in Spanish means “polarized,” a visual reference to a mirrored surface; although to others, it can have political and social connotations. Accompanying Felix’s half-spoken, low-octave vocals, Polarizado's sound is derived from the driving syncopations of drum kit and percussion, reverb-laden guitar rhythms with heavy tremolo, insistent basslines, gritty harmonica, droning vintage synthesizers, and a healthy dose of echo, feedback, and low-bit samplers. The music is inspired by the sounds of 50s Southern rockabilly/honky tonk, 70s German motorik/ krautrock and 90s Mexican Norteño.
Felix was not from a musical family, but his family was supportive of his musical career. His father, Ron Bergman, was a quick-witted, Bay area sports writer and former Associated Press sports writer and had a great way with words and people. Felix began playing the trumpet at age eight, it came fairly easily for him and he has continued playing for 20 years. He began singing in rock n’ roll bands at the age of 12 and as a teenager, played at well known San Francisco night clubs including Wolfgang's, The Stone, the Mabuhay Gardens, Fillmore, and later on at Slim’s. He was a school teacher and taught at the Oakland Public Schools for 22 years for all age groups and taught English and Spanish.
Inspired by the compositional processes of David Bowie, David Byrne, and Brian Eno, Felix’s songs tell stories, and the lyrics are intentionally vague so the listener can evoke their own meanings and imagery. Felix is also a fan of Norteño musicians Tigres del Norte, Ramon Ayala and Lalo Mora. Felix says, “I’ve always admired the work ethic of Kraftwerk, working in their studio recording everyday during normal business hours... I'm always working on new ideas from Monday to Friday.”
Putting together the album Polarizado, was a natural process and the music was recorded at various stops between his move from Oakland to Austin. Felix recorded a few hours worth of material with different rhythm sections in Oakland, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Desert Hot Springs, CA, Austin and, most inspirational: Monterrey, Mexico. The bassist and drummer from Monterrey played in Norteño style, which is an aggressive style of hard driving danceable two-step polka music. Felix mixed the recordings and Polarizado was mastered by Louie Lino of Austin, Texas. The cultural spirit of Austin, and Monterrey helped create Polarizado and the influence extended into his personal life - Felix married Tereci, an Austin local originally from Monterrey, onstage at the Continental club in Austin by Dale Watson, an ordained Texas minister.
The five piece band includes Felix (vocals & rhythm guitar), Brandon (bass), Trinidad Leal (drums), Stefan Wicks (guitar & electronics) and a rotating guest slot for featured instrumental soloists.