Review: Charlotte de Witte – Brussels

Charlotte de Witte releases her latest EP, on Novamute, in homage to her Belgium homeland. The Waveform Transmitter‘s Simon Huxtable takes a listen to ‘Brussels’.

Charlotte de Witte is on fire right now – figuratively speaking. Her star is very much in ascendance given her upcoming Essential Mix, rammed DJ diary and impressive production catalogue.

This new EP, recently released on the relaunched seminal British imprint NovaMute, is testament to the success she is now seeing. But all the accolades in the world don’t amount to a hill of beans if it’s from hollow victories (cough cough Paris Hilton cough) so with three acclaimed EPs during 2017, her ‘Brussels EP’ continues that trademark for dystopian techno.

NovaMute, a subsidiary of the legendary Mute label, rose to prominence in the early 90s amidst growing demand for techno in the UK and went on to release classic tracks and albums from an array of coveted artists. In 2017 they relaunched with EPs from Nicolas Bougaïeff and Terence Fixmer.

The title track, ‘Brussels’ simmers menacingly. Spoken word monologue and stripped back beats swell the senses as pads emerge drawing you ever deeper into her web. Super simple but devastatingly effective, I defy any dancefloor not to fall under her spell.

Next up, the muscular ‘Control’ is a whirlwind of rumbling bass frequencies and well positioned percussive elements. Growing slowly, at full tilt this is an impressive slice of contemporary techno.

Finally, ‘Look Around You’ uses more menacing spoken word samples, hypnotic percussion and a deftly orchestrated two-note pad. Ultimately uplifting, it’s juxtaposed against its dystopian feel with minor chord changes and sparse arrangement.

If you want to catch Charlotte, she will be playing in Manchester tonight with 909 and Micron, over at Gorilla. Get yourself a ticket, here. In the meantime, we suggest having a listen to ‘Brussels’ below.


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