Angel Ho, the lesser known part ov the iconoclastic NON triumvirate with Chino Amobi and Nkisi, gives the label its brilliant second vinyl release with Red Devil; their 2016 mixtape split in nine parts and cut to vinyl.
The Cape Town, SA-based producer has previously presented digital releases on NON and Rabit’s Halcyon Veil, beside collaborating on Dedekind Cut’s $uccessor, and acting as a lightning rod for new, non-binary, African artists from the diaspora. Trust that Red Devil is a fiercely crucial addition to the NON canon, and (hopefully) not a testament to their love of Man U.
For a certain bandwidth of listeners, Red Devil forms a full frontal introduction to one of NON’s key concept creators and DJs, bringing their ideas and aesthetics to life in an absorbing dramaturgy of elusive, widely scoped rhythms and atonal electronics riddled with vertiginous trapdoors and doomy orchestral motifs. It’s a sound worthy of parallels with many of Angel Ho’s contemporaries, but ultimately it’s an exemplary, singular recording, defined by its own funk and epic, acutely psychedelic grip.
Diamonds burns on contact from the off, fulminating all those aforementioned ideas in a non-more-urgent, impeding burst of kaotic string harmonies and blocky, 8-bar like barges, setting the tone for a roiling wormhole of slithering Matrix-style sonics in Bottom, and the stacked harmonic balance of Para and the digital recursion of Cupid’s Bow. The rhythms surge forward more effectively in the
Gqom-Like rufige of Bye Wendell and the buckled formation of Engender, which is set to become a staple round these parts, whilst the last two tracks Grave X Rabit and Safe Space fully keen into psychotomimetic, proprioceptive madness, poising the listener at the centre of a maelstrom of blast beats, digital noise and sampled voices bound to leave you breathless.