Red Devil has all the cornerstones we've come to associate with this type of dance music: clashing melodies, samples of broken glass, disruptive drum patterns, all of it somewhat haphazard. But within the first few minutes it's clear that Red Devil is not business as usual—this is the work of someone who feels at home in this maelstrom of sound. There's a seesaw between anarchy and order on Red Devil that makes it more than just destructive catharsis, and all the fury, existential dread and fleeting moments of joy come together in a more intelligible way.
Red Devil isn't necessarily less abrasive or startling than past Angel-Ho releases, but it moves with a newfound finesse. The first few tracks resemble a coordinated chaos, as if Angel-Ho were conducting an orchestra of urban noise, drifting in and out of eerily silent movements before crashing back into full-blast. (The first real drop on the album, halfway through "Diamonds," feels like a kick in the stomach.) A choir emerges here and there, adding a regal atmosphere, while defeated-sounding chords that recall Prurient and Coil colour darker shades elsewhere.
Some tracks are simply great bangers. "Engender," for example, has a massive rhythm that fuses grime and Jersey club. But, as a DJ with a copy of Red Devil, you'd have to be careful of which part you play, because "Engender" crashes into "Grave X Rabit," a Rabit-assisted track with a squealing, anguished synth guitar. That the tracks aren't separated is key to Red Devil. The LP's constant motion, where the impact of each track is tempered or amplified by what comes before and after, is what makes it work so well.
Like many experimental club releases, Red Devil has a concept. It's meant to illustrate the experience of being queer and trans, an existence that carries risk every time one enters a public space. While themes of identity politics can sometimes seem like window-dressing when applied to a non-verbal, confrontational style of music, conflicting emotions radiate from Red Devil in a way that's hard to ignore (even if you don't read the explanatory notes that accompany it). It ends with a furious passage, titled "Safe Space," which leaves us no closer to resolution.