Mixing electro-punk sensibilities with traditional Filipino kulintang instrumentation, Pantayo offer distinctly unique and richly compelling soundscapes. With their new self-titled record out now, each member shares a track that’s been hugely influential to them – further highlighting the wide-ranging influences Pantayo encompass in their sound.
Their new album has a hypnotic, harmonic essence. On stand-out single ‘V V V (They Lie)’ the five-piece offers atmospheric, driving basslines and brooding electronica alongside soft, melodic vocal harmonies and resonant kulintang drums and gongs, crafting a warm sonic embrace. Whilst ‘Heto Na’ rises from house-inflected, trance-like dance through twinkling percussion before bursting into energetic pop-infused funk delivered with a punkish urgency.
Each member of Pantayo has different experiences of settling in Canada and each brings their own distinct musical influences and inspirations to the mix. Speaking on the way they sonically explore their personal experiences of diasporic Filipino identity, co-founder of Pantayo Kat Estacio says “One way that we can make this world feel like home for folks like us is to mix the kulintang music that we learned with different sounds and song structures that feel familiar to us”. Check out their incredible new album Pantayo in full here.
Get to know Pantayo In Five…
Remy Shand – Looking Back on Vanity
This is the second last song on Canadian artist Remy Shand’s “The Way I Feel” album from 2001. I am a huge Remy Shand fan! I was gifted “The Way I Feel” on my 14th birthday and have listened to it repeatedly ever since. I looked up to Remy Shand as a teenager because he was a multi-instrumentalist and so young when he wrote and recorded this album. Hits aside, the other soulful tracks on the album deserve a close listen. I love the overall groove of “Looking Back on Vanity” and the sweet synth flourishes and bassline runs.
Best Friends – Missy Elliott feat Aaliyah (from the Supa Dupa Fly album)
This album is iconic! Timeless! This perfection was conceived by the genius of the holy trinity that is Missy/Aaliyah/Timba and to me is reminiscent of futuristic funky soul sounds with a hint of Prince. Love the sassy, classy, smart, sensual vibes and the baseline too is ohhh, chef kiss*** Will 4ever be inspired by this era of music.
Rihanna ft. Sza – consideration
I was initially drawn by the gritty sounding synths and drum beats that are clearly produced by a machine. When Rihanna’s ANTI came out, I found myself putting the entire record on repeat, and when I started with Track 1, I noticed it was my favourite part of listening to the entire album when the cycle restarted. Only later did I start intently listening to the lyrics and it seemed that they resonated with me at that time. Themes of knowing the difference between what should be and what can be done, and how to reconcile the two, I could really feel the push an pull throughout the song. I relate in a way with my explorations and learnings about my instrument and how I see myself as a vessel to process, to mould, to create. Perfection can’t be achieved; still I can get peace of mind from my process and just be.
OOIOO – Umo (which was inspired by Roberto De Simone – Secondo Coro Delle)
Taranta was one of the earlier songs that we wrote for the album. Sometime in 2016, we had just finished a collaborative sound track project with alaska B and her band Yamantaka // Sonic Titan for a video game called Severed (Drinkbox Studios). That project was inspired by music that had bell-chime synth sounds like the Akira Soundtrack by Geinoh Yamashirogumi and OOIOO’s Gamel album. That process led us to listening to earlier discogs of the latter band, and so the gong arrangement of Taranta and the chorus was inspired by all of this.
Fanny – Ain’t That Peculiar
Fanny was a gem that I randomly discovered at a record store/cd trade inÂ store that was closing in Toronto. And little did I know they were one of the first all-female rock groups way before acts like The Runaways. Founded and leadÂ by Filipino-American front women by June and Jean millington. I’m a sucker for slide guitar and a singalong one line rocknroll chorus. In the original recording (Fanny Hill Album) I particularly like the extended percussive intro in this track.