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Mestis - Basal Ganglia

AAL guitarist Javier Reyes tweeted some photos of himself laying down tunes in the studio with drummer Morgen Ågren (Frank Zappa, Fredrik Thordendal, Devin Townsend) and AAL co-guitarist Tosin Abasi last week, so naturally we speculated as to what was in the works. It turns out that Abasi’s presence was something of a red herring; Reyes was recording a solo record.

Reyes will be releasing a five-track EP called Basal Ganglia under the moniker Mestis on November 27th via Sumerian Records. A press release from Sumerian boasts that the EP will showcase “Reyes’ vast musical diversity and features an intriguing variety of instrumentation performed by highly acclaimed musicians,” of which Abasi and Ågren are two. Matt Garstka (Animals As Leaders’ new drummer) handles drum programming (presumably on the tracks Ågren doesn’t play on), Hector Barez (Calle 13, Bio Ritmo) is the percussionist and David Stout (Marvin Gaye, Juan Gabriel, Smokey Robinson) plays the trombone.

With Basal Ganglia — which, according to Wikipedia, refers to “a group of nuclei of varied origin in the brains of vertebrates that act as a cohesive functional unit” — the lesser-known of Animals of Leaders’ two talented guitar players is seeking to establish his own artistic identity. He offers:

Basal Ganglia is an EP that come from several places, and by places, I mean influences. I’ve always wanted to create a style of music that focused on being emotionally exploitive and technically sound, yet simple enough for the average music listener to appreciate. Another influence was using the eight string guitar in a form that is unconventional to the ‘trends’ or independent of characteristics that are found in music styles/genres that have popularized it. Another and important reason was to create a true form of my own independent voice as an artist. To create music that expressed my personality, upbringing, emotions and musical taste.

And based on the two minute clip of “Te Mato” posted below, I’d say he’s succeeding. Much like T.R.A.M., the primary musical influences and instrumentation on hand are certainly anything but trendy, but Mestis has a distinct atmosphere about it that’s wholly different from T.R.A.M.’s grooved-up jazz fusion. Check it out:

Definitely very excitebike about this one. We’ll post more info as soon as we have it.


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