Belgian DJ & producer Charlotte de Witte continues her techno onslaught with the Rave on Time EP, four slabs of stomping, acid-washed bangers that are pure, concentrated energy. Keeping true to her style, de Witte delivers one lean, mean pounding machine after the other, with her foot on the gas and no intention of hitting the brakes, using all sorts of bare-bones elements such as piercing synths and resounding kicks to bring back the sound of the olden days of rave.
Right as the EP kicks off with the title track, we realize that this is a no-nonsense, unbridled affair not for the faint-hearted, as we are assaulted by banging kicks, distorted voice samples and a crunchy acid line, repeating once and again until embedded firmly in your skull, followed by red-alarm synths that bring us to the break in full intensity, which will not subdue until the last few bars.
Next comes There´s No One Left To Trust, a hyperactive blast of rhythm that goes deeper into the mind with hypnotic effects, drilling synths, an eerie voice sample, and a relentless drive. Building up the pressure in the intro and keeping it restrained until just the right time, de Witte then unleashes the main synth riff, piercing like an ice pick and taking the tune to the next level.
The third cut, and the toughest, is The World Inside, which begins at warp speed and immediately draws you into its whirlwind of voice samples, gargantuan kicks and stabbing acid lines. This creates a more foreboding ambiance, darker and menacing, which makes for a perfect hard techno experience.
The final cut is the earth-shaking, brain-drilling track, Common Era, which is as prickly as a bag of nails and just as tough. This time the 303 line hammers us constantly and then suddenly gives way to heavenly pads, which makes for a disconcerting, yet soothing, change, only to be pummeled again after a few bars with the full-on sonic assault of beats and acid.
The Rave On Time EP is a loud and welcome statement from Charlotte de Witte, a searing, white-hot record that reminds us of the healing power of music in these strange and uncertain times. From a no-frills approach, she brings us a rock-solid, no-filler-all-killer four track collection that´s very impressive in its power as well as in its sense of purpose.