TransCentury Update No.3



Patrick Wagner returned to making music in 2016 after a long break of 12 years. As part of the band Surrogat and without the intellectual pretensions of the Hamburger Schule movement, he played a decisive role in shaping the landscape of German rock music from the late 90s to the mid-2000s. Together with Samira Zahidi and Helen Henfling he now performs as Gewalt. Their lyrics probe deeply into existential thOughts on the increasingly unbearable and inescapable contradictions of human existence, raising some questions which by their very nature are condemned to be left unanswered. Gewalt articulates these thOughts yelling and screaming into a void they don’t intend to fill with meaning but with stifling walls of sound pressure, negative emotions and proto rock noise. The windowless cellar of Ilses Erika, where the sweat and smells of hedonism have seeped deep into the walls should, despite its cosy dance floor, provide a setting that creates feelings of isolation and detachment. Those feelings will become inescapable once Wagner starts to conjure the future infirmity and hopelessness of our neoliberal biographies: »Unsere Schönheit ist auf der Flucht / und Verletzung sucht uns Heim / wie eine Sucht / Pandora, Du Bitch, / Für uns ein Haufen Nichts / Arbeit, Krankheit, Tod (Our beauty is fleeing /and pain finds home with us / like an addiction / Pandora, you whore / leaving us a pile of nothingness /work, sickness, death).«