Why Pantayo Rules By Daniel Lee
Pantayo are inspiring.
They’re a powerful Filipinx 5-piece gong punk band that creates dynamic rhythms. The backbone of their music lies in the Kulintang, a traditional Filipinx gong, which they play alongside synths and vocals. Pantayo bridges the gap between traditional Filipinx instrumentation and modern day beats and R&B. They are punk in their attitudes and approaches!
I grew up playing in a youth percussion ensemble as well as listening to 90s hip hop and R&B, so it’s no surprise that Pantayo resonates with me. If you go to a Pantayo show, you’ll witness an entire crowd paying rapt attention: to the sick beats, perfect vocals, styles old and new, paying tribute to both their cultural heritage and their current socio-geographical landscape.
Seeing and hearing 5 Filipinx women do this today is, believe it or not, actually witnessing history in the making. (When I searched for “Female Kulintang group” on the internet, Pantayo was the only name that came up.) They are paving the way for Filipinx kids and, frankly, everyone else. They are empowering and emboldening others to be onstage together, advancing music in a new way. How could this not be inspiring?
For me, there’s no better feeling than hearing percussion instruments played in sync — the dynamic interplay creating dialogue, expression and movement. It is medicinal and therapeutic. Pantayo’s gongs feel like acupressure for my brain; like each strike hits a different zone to release positive energy or reflection, or ease my thoughts so that I can focus, or get me physically hyped and moving. I love the way the body and soul react to percussive rhythm, and Pantayo elicits just that.
Go see/hear them!
Pantayo plays Kazoo! Fest 2019 on Sunday April 14th with Steven Lambke at the Pancake Breakfast at 10C (42 Carden St.).