Watch Tosin Abasi’s jaw-dropping demo of a prototype Abasi Concepts compressor pedal that makes notes “feel like they're popping”

Animals As Leaders guitar maestro and electric guitar entrepreneur Tosin Abasi has revealed that his company, Abasi Concepts, has developed a new compressor pedal with a difference.

This as-yet-unnamed guitar effects pedal is just the second to come from the company, following the release of the Pathos distortion pedal in 2018, which was designed in collaboration with Brian Wampler and put US-style tube amp drive in one compact box.

But Abasi took to Instagram to demo the prototype unit, and explained how this compressor was something new, taking a fresh approach to the transients in your playing, eschewing the traditional squash to making the notes “feel like they’re popping”.

“Extremely excited to show you guys a new pedal we’ve developed at ABASI!” he wrote. “Something to make the notes feel like they’re popping, as opposed being stamped down. It’s basically the ideal compressor for the fast percussive techniques I love to use and it does it with and amp-like feel and character.”

The amp-life feel would make it of a piece with the Pathos, something to run ahead of the signature distortion unit to gussy up your tone. Using an eight-string Larada, Abasi demoed the compressor two ways, one with a ridiculously virtuosic display of clean-picked arpeggios, the other using percussive slap rhythm techniques. “This thing’s great!” he says.

No other details were shared, but looking at the enclosure – which has three dials, a toggle switch and a footswitch – the Abasi logo is rendered in LEDs and clearly lights up as the compressor is working on his transients. Always a helpful feature, with bonus points for looking cool.

Abasi did not share any other details but did consider calling it the “Micro-Agressor” which would be as cool a name as any. For more details on what’s presently available from him, see Abasi Concepts.

In other Abasi guitar news, Ernie Ball Music Man looks like it is going to be officially launching his Kaizen signature guitar today, with Bearbones, Abasi’s guitar tech, replying on the EBMM teaser post that people are “seriously gonna flip” when they play one. “Definitely the most dialed guitar I've ever played,” he wrote. “Game changer is an understatement.”

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.