UNOS – Headlock [Darker Than Wax]

UNOS, a Belgian artist with roots in the Philippines, has long been a part of the Darker Than Wax family, repping the label in Europe and beyond for a number of years through her parties and DJ sets. As she begins to put her unique productions out into the world, we are pleased to give her first release a home on the label.

Borrowing its title from the exuberant Filipino dining tradition – a communal, bare-handed feast among friends and families – UNOS’ debut EP Boodle Fight highlights her sincere love for communities forged through club culture. The release was conceptualised during her first Asia tour through Singapore, Bangkok, and Manila in 2019, where the artist became acutely aware of the crucial role that community plays in sustaining a culture. Shortly after these foundational travels, the pandemic threatened the lifeblood of this culture, prompting her to draw on her feelings from the tour to maintain hope. With the release of the EP, UNOS revels in the return of togetherness to club culture after the pandemic – just like a musical boodle fight.

Boodle Fight ties together this celebration of community with a number of other influences and experiences in the artist’s life. First single ‘Angermanagement’ is a ballroom-inspired roller, focusing on contemporary voguing culture’s ability to translate anger into queer empowerment. ‘Powerslide’ is a piano-driven house cut that attempts to capture the energy of a legendary Darker Than Wax block party in Singapore in 2019, while the frenetic pace of ‘Headlock’ evokes imagery of a crowded club scene that the artist sorely missed in 2020. True to the spirit of a Boodle Fight, the bright chords and bouncy rhythms on ‘Flavourtown’ imagine the best aspects of an inclusive space where diversity is celebrated like a buffet. Closing out the record, ‘Loveletter to Summer’ reflects on the tropical warmth of her roots in the Philippines. Boodle Fight manages to pack in quite a few themes and inspirations, while still maintaining a polished consistency from front to back, and announces UNOS as a producer to watch.

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