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The Band

Women, with painted faces, caterwauling in distinctive falsettos. A tribe of young men, standing blithely aside, nods in silent approval. The lights glimmer. A wineglass shatters. A chant drones ever onward. That lone, unwavering voice, echoing through the occasional darkness. All in accordance with pulsating, four-on-the-floor drumming that threatens to overwhelm those of us not in synch with the communal heartbeat. THIS is the unadulterated essence of a Pedicab live performance: a near-religious experience with all the idiosyncrasies of a shaman’s ritual. And why not? For the last two years, this group has specialized in producing a riotous form Disco-Punk Music that has, quite often, induced even the most avowed non-believers to convert…to the dogma of the dance floor. Some have jokingly dubbed this unique sound “dunk.” I call it “drunk.” With ecstasy, that is. Being a notorious wallflower, it is hard for me even to BEGIN fathoming WHY the sound Pedicab makes is so intoxicating. Could it be the quirky lyrics? The (almost) call-and-response dynamic that makes an exchange of energy between patron and performer so effortless? The “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am” immediacy of each simplified guitar lick…every streamlined synth line…and all the Spartan austerity of a, nonetheless, ingenious cadence? Or could it be something else? A certain “X” factor? A kind of magic? A bit of “je-ne-sais-fucking-quoi?” We will never find the appropriate words.

What fans DO understand, however, is that this Music is a joyous assault on the senses. Like a skilled boxer, it bobs, weaves and strikes when you least expect. A tremendous part of this aural alchemy is, admittedly, down to the elements each Pedicab member provides. Multimedia artist RA Rivera, also known as “Just Tony,” is a cult hero among visually inclined artists. Mike Dizon, a.k.a. “Masterbeat (Extra Service),” is revered as the drummer of Pinoy Rock legends Teeth and Sandwich. Guitarist “J. Sonic,” baptized Jason Caballa, is best known for his riff-mongering with Indie stalwarts Twisted Halo. Lead vocalist and digital percussionist Diego Mapa, who plays for Monsterbot AND Cambio, is “Mappy”…or, alternately, “Daddy Maps” (having recently become a father). And “Sugar Raims?” Well, the synth player/vocoder experimentalist/backing vocalist really needs no introduction. Aside from his work with Cambio and Sandwich, he is a real live Eraserhead! Not a lineup to take lightly. Their 2005 debut album, the sensational “Tugish Takish,” speaks for itself. In addition, tracks have been laid down for a Jam 88.3 Christmas compilation, along with a “Musicians Against WTO” collection. The “intimidation” factor is at an all-time high. Indeed, how does one describe musicians who have written their own place in the (listen closely Atom and NU 107!) Pinoy Rock Hall of Fame? And although I have painstakingly crafted THREE disparate “profiles” in my attempt to describe Pedicab, I have come to realize that their own words would more than suffice


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