For all the emphasis on good times and euphoria in clubland there’s always been a dark side to electronic music, a side that 23 year old DJ/producer and one of Belgium’s most exciting new talents Charlotte de Witte, aka Raving George, has readily embraced.
“I love the darkness you find in electronic music,” explains de Witte, “especially within Techno. I find melancholic music so much more interesting and dark sounding Techno really attracts me. When I look at the main stages of some of the world's most famous festivals and I see everyone dancing to this commercial, happy music, I don't really understand it.”
“Dark music contains much more emotion. When I’m DJ’ing I want to try and touch the crowd and tell a story with the music. Of course I want them to party, get loose and have fun but at the same time I want them to remember the music long after the lights go up.”
Growing up with Belgium’s rich history of Electronic de Witte would discover Electro and Techno in her teens and was soon captivated by the hypnotic sounds she heard in the clubs around Ghent. By the age of 17 she had already made her debut behind the decks and her aggressive Techno sets soon caught the ears of some of Belgium’s biggest promoters, earning de Witte prime sets at festivals such as Pukkelpop and Tomorrowland.
Today de Witte can include parties and festivals in the US, South Africa and all across Europe on her CV. Still her heart remains tied to the both the underground Techno scene and Belgium where she can be found championing new talent both on her Saturday night radio show, ‘Playground’ on Studio Brussels, Belgium’s leading radio station, and at KNTXT de Witte’s new residency at Brussels Techno institution Fuse.
Having moved into production de Witte has wasted no time in establishing herself as a serious talent in the studio as well as behind the decks. But whilst a Raving George DJ set is guaranteed to get you moving, Charlotte’s own music has provided her with a chance to reveal another side, an opportunity to dial down the BPMs and up the atmosphere.
“When I’m DJ’ing it’ll mostly be Techno, hard, dark and aggressive. But when I’m in the studio I like to mix things up.” She explains. ”So I’ll still make club tracks but then a lot of the music that I’ll produce is slower, it has a heaviness to it. Making music really gives me a chance to tap into the more emotional side of electronic music that I love. Music that has that melancholic side to it, I just find it so much more interesting, whether DJ’ing, producing or just listening myself at home.”
Releases in 2014 on labels like London’s cult Bad Life imprint quickly found favour with press, DJs and public alike, tracks such as ‘Slaves’ updating the grinding sound of New Beat and EBM for a new generation of electronic music fans.
Whilst those early releases earned her the respect of the underground club scene she calls home, it was her 2015 collaboration with another fast rising Belgian star Oscar & The Wolf that brought her to the attention of the world at large. Making no concession to the mainstream ‘You’re Mine’, an intense, atmospheric, mix of sombre, almost mournful, vocals and seductively dark electronica went Gold, selling over 15,000 copies in Belgium alone.
With ‘You’re Mine’ now set for a full international release, further EPs lined up for labels such as Tiga’s Turbo Recordings, her ongoing radio show, FUSE residency and a packed tour diary de Witte shows no sign of slowing down. Despite her love of all things dark, the future for Raving George looks very bright indeed.