Review: Charlotte De Witte’s ‘Return To Nowhere’ EP Channels Spellbinding Power As Hypnotic Dark Techno

Charlotte De Witte | Return To Nowhere (EP) |  ​KNTXT​

Release Date: 12 June, 2020

I think it’s becoming harder and harder to create your own style. People seem to push for having their own identity, but when you’re too different from what everyone else is doing, it becomes much harder to get booked. Everyone’s a DJ nowadays, the market is oversaturated and it has become easier for everyone to become a DJ or even a producer. It’s hard to stand out in the big puddle of water filled with the same species.

Exclusive: 5 Minutes With Charlotte De Witte
The Playground, May 2017

Belgian-born DJ Charlotte De Witte hardly needs an introduction in the electronic music world: as one of the leading figures in the techno scene specifically, the highly acclaimed producer has made an outstanding name for herself in the industry with her distinct auditory personality for good reason.

With her specific approach to bold, vivid and powerful club-ready cuts that beguile, bewitch and mesmerise, the artist’s adventurous production techniques allows her to stand out in an industry where an exhausting amount of repetition can easily find itself oversaturating specific genres – as in reference to her quote when we briefly spoke with De Witte back in 2017, establishing a unique musical personality in an industry that has become increasingly accessible to a huge variety of people can find many DJs & producers being lost in the mix, or simply being overlooked because they stand out ‘too much‘ which may turn an audience away – a balance which is necessary for success, and one which De Witte has mastered.

With the release of her latest EP ‘Return To Nowhere’ on her own imprint KNTXT, De Witte once again captures our attention with her spellbinding take on techno and electronic music in general – and proves once again why she is an artist who truly stands out from the crowd in the best way possible.

De Witte’s exceptional power in her work, along with her use of trance-like, ritualistic chants is enough to immediately stop anyone in the midst of whatever activity they may be involved: the spellbinding nature of the artist’s work is so extremely prominent, as soon as one of her tracks begins to play, it seems as though the rest of the world falls out of focus.

The raw, vigorous nature of the opening track ‘Sgadi Li Mi‘ is a forcefully potent introduction to ‘Return To Nowhere’ – an introduction befitting of De Witte’s work – the robust, self-assured pound of the beat which immediately greets listeners reverates within one’s bones. It’s easy to imagine the heavy, midnight bass burrowing into one’s very core on a dancefloor cloaked in a hypnotic mesmer – the darkness pulsing with the most forceful of direction. The term “aggressive” can often be used in a negative context, however with ‘Sgadi Li Mi’ the spellbinding, aggressive dominance present within the soundscape De Witte has constructed radiates a hard-hitting energy that is alluringly captivating in nature.

De Witte’s use of vocal chants gleam with the intensity of a ritualistic dance, the atmospheric focus on her vocals gleam with an aura of religiosity, especially as the electronic soundscape segues into an quiet ambience with a sole focus on her echoic voice, crying out in a manner similar to a prayer – with the reverberation gradually returning to the dark techno beat, confident in progression as the track comes to a close.

This type of energetic, raw grit in sculpting zealous techno along with Witte’s fascinating use of chanting and intricately constructed electronic textures within each of the four tracks, including the EP closer ‘What’s In The Past‘ which sings as an ambient, angelic choir as opposed to a strong dancefloor cut makes ‘Return To Nowhere‘ an ultimately intriguing and beguiling offering from the techno songstress.

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Rating: 8 / 10

Feature Image: Charlotte De Witte by Marie Wynants

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