Charlotte de Witte shares psychedelic-inspired new EP ‘Universal Consciousness’: Listen
Charlotte de Witte decides to dive deep into the world of psychedelia to deliver a heavy yet intimate sound: ‘This is from me to you‘.
In 2022 it’s hard to remember what the techno scene was like without Charlotte de Witte. The silver-eyed girl who surprised everyone with the power and acidity of her music is now in an auspicious place in her career. One of the moments that helped cement her view on the industry and show the DNA of her sound was the creation of her brand KNTXT. More than a record label, it’s a concept that stands for purity, strength and progression, something that also characterises her work. Charlotte’s role in the evolution of techno is admirable and continues to bear fruit, now culminating in ‘Universal Consciousness‘, her brand new four-track EP. Last year Charlotte de Witte dominated the charts with her ‘Asura‘ EP. Released on her imprint, the three-track EP is an adventurous journey into psytrance territory, which not only taps into her early influences but left the door open for the musicality Charlotte would explore in subsequent works. Now, marking KNTXT’s fifteenth release arrives a work that shows Charlotte’s style evolving into more psychedelic meanderings. ‘Universal Consciousness’ has already had some test drives in the Belgian artist’s performances with very satisfactory results, as she refers:
‘following up on my latest Asura EP in September, I decided to delve a bit deeper into the world of psychedelia. All the tracks of the EP are psy inspired, some more than others. I’ve been playing these tracks for a while now in the clubs. It’s been a real pleasure to see the crowd’s reaction and see the amount of track ID requests online. This one is from me to you, I hope you enjoy my Universal Consciousness EP!’
The ode to psychedelia begins with ‘Satori’. Etiologically it is a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening, comprehension and understanding, and, effectively, it seems to be an unobstructed view into the essence of Charlotte de Witte’s musicality. Pulsating, it’s a bed of hard, flat and dry drums into which are laid some acidic twisted synths. The trance-like state is achieved with the tribal spirit-guide vocals, forming the perfect dichotomy between the almost alien techno layers and the organic magic. The speed picks up in ‘Kali‘. The peak time beats and the metallic echo are an ode to techno, revealing a track with a pedal to the metal but very elegant. Conceptually you can see the connection with the previous track by the enchanting vocal, although here it sounds more underground. The rhythm is established and by now you can’t leave the dancefloor. Enters the title track ‘Universal Consciousness‘. The percussion is brutally violent, asking you to follow a progressive and frenetic rhythm into a hypnotic sphere. The elements wind into psychedelic loops at the same time as a mysterious voice whispers a spell-like speech. The hi-hats determine how involved you get and it will certainly be in-depth. Finally, you find ‘Ahimsa‘, the ingenious dichotomy between the dark, hammering drums and the uplifting beauty of acid psycho synths. Despite being heavy, it’s strangely soothing and delicate. The mystical flutes bring the tribalism that seems to be the link across all four tracks and the gold card to the realm of psychedelic cuts.
If psytrance and techno had a baby, this would be what it would look like. Charlotte de Witte has proven to be synonymous with adrenaline, irreverence and fast tempo, and ‘Universal Consciousness’ EP is the epitome of that. Is this psy techno just Charlotte’s new path, or a new trend? Take a listen and let us know what you think.
Image credit: Marie Wynants