At just 23 years of age, Charlotte De Witte has firmly highlighted her success. With a weekly radio show on Studio Brussels, frequent appearances at European festivals, a packed tour spanning all the way through 2016, and 16,100 followers on SoundCloud at the time of writing, if you haven't heard of her, then why not? De Witte’s future looks darkly bold, that's for certain.
Leaving her previous alias of ‘Raving George’ behind and returning to her birth moniker, De Witte has recently announced her new EP ‘Weltschmerz’ with Turbo Recordings. As one of Belgium's most exciting young musicians, her talent races out of each track – and, with over 15,000 sales of her last single ‘You’re Mine’ (featuring Oscar and the Wolf), plus with many sold out shows around the world, it seems likely that the popular DJ and producer is in for further success with her second bid at making a true name for herself.
As she tells press, “Raving George was a name I chose when I was just 16… I wanted to be a serious DJ and play proper hard, dark, underground Techno – but at the time, I felt like there were a lot of negative stereotypes about female DJs, so when I got my first gig, I chose a somewhat ambiguous name to hide behind.”
With talent such as De Witte’s, anonymity isn’t required. ‘Weltschmerz’ is testimony to this, boasting strong hits and pumping jams. The track ‘Damage Control’ stands out amongst the collection – full of harshly thumping techno and thick drumbeats that will play in your head for days after hearing them. The synth that follows up is like a freight train, booming towards your ears then fizzing past into the hard-hitting kick drums.
With each piece of percussion landing in your very core, this EP is sure to be a hit. I had to listen to it over and over, especially the track ‘Lonesome’ with its layered space odyssey notes above huge tribal drums. While ‘Relatives of None’ doesn't mess around, with its straight to the point techno, it’s also massively hypnotic and a real Berghain classic, with haunting echoes and screaming synth work.
What De Witte really demonstrates, though, is the change that has been occurring over recent years for female DJs, both across the electronic spectrum and in the live environment. As she says herself to press, “Over the past few years, artists like Nina Kraviz and Maya Jane Coles have shown that you can be a credible, underground producer without needing to play up to, or ignore, your gender.”
Indeed, women are generally a lot more recognised now in music - electronic, experimental and general pop. It's becoming a fairer creative playing field now. There is an ever-growing abundance of creative musicians, groups, bands and duo’s paving the way with stronger records with each passing moment, performing in the world's best raves, clubs and venues.
With an EP such as ‘Weltschmerz’, I'm excited to see what the future holds for De Witte and what else she has in store for us in the New Year. As she concludes, “Now, as I start a new phase of my career, I want to be known for who I really am and that starts with this new EP.”
Words: Luke Cole
Photography: Nicolas Karakatsanis @ Melting Pot Agency