Friday Night Tune: Kraftwerk – Trans Europe Express


I’m sitting here this morning trying to take in the results of the EU referendum and finding myself almost unable to do so. More than that, though, I find myself unwilling to think about it, about all the vast implications for the future, for right now. For everyone and everything. In the short-term there is the terrible and horrible thrill of witnessing the pound plummet towards the value of a Vietnamese dong, and the strange sensation that we have been robbed of the pleasure that should have been so delicious in watching David Cameron resign, but in the long-term…

I suspect Britain won’t vanish into a long night the way many people on the Remain side suggested. The economy will slowly repair itself the way it always does and everything will muddle on without much on the surface looking different. But the surface isn’t where the problems are. It’s not where the sickness will take hold. The idea that this was about economics (and many of the arguments put forward by both side were heavily weighed towards that) was just, outright, nonsense. This was about much more than that. It was, simply put, about relationships.

In our thing, in music generally and electronic music in particular, these relationships are particularly important. The flood of ideas from one national scene to another has made house and techno what it is. It is why it is so special. The cross-pollination has yielded so many weird and wonderful strains it is near impossible to count them all. No, I don’t expect the flood to stop, but the flow will be altered in as yet uncertain ways, and only the most optimistic of people would say it’ll be for the better.

The creative industries will suffer massively from all this as funding from various European arts councils vanishes. That won’t get replaced in any meaningful way by whatever Tory government comes into power next. We’ve just had a campaign that was largely based on anti-intellectualism and the concept of ‘experts’ being the enemy of ‘ordinary, decent, hardworking people’. And because artists, writers, and musicians all fall into the ‘too clever by half’ category, you can all but guarantee any cash that should have been available for the arts will instead be spent on a 500 foot high statue of Queen Victoria made out of corgis and Union Jack bunting.

I’m not doing a good job of putting this into words. I think it’s going to take me months to process it all. So, I’ll just leave you with Kraftwerk’s Trans Europe Express instead. Why? Well, that should be obvious: It’s because I couldn’t find a tune called Believing The Lies From A Circus Of Cunts, that’s why.