For many years, Brendan has been at the forefront of harmonica inventions and customizations. In two of my articles, I have already referenced some of his work like the twin chromatic and the slide chromatic bass. On his website you can get an overview of all the great stuff he has been working on the last several years.
Even though the AsiaBand chromatic itself uses parts of a standard Easttop chromatic, its peculiarity lies in how the reeds are tuned and gapped on the plates. The blow reeds have zero gap, and blowing makes no sound: only the draw reeds play under normal draw breath and draw bends. The blow reeds activate during interactive reed bending to provide the sound of the deep draw bend notes. No valves are required with this reed setup.
Brendan writes on his website:
“Instead of valves the AsiaBend uses the slider action of an airtight chromatic harmonica to isolate reed pairs and select the bending function. Its scale layout is designed to allow the player to controllably bend every note of a diatonic major scale (and related modes) up to and down from other notes of the scale, as well as micro tones in between.”
The result is a harmonica with a very unique and soulful sound that can be used particularly in traditional Indian and Chinese music, but also for other styles.
Have a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWpeIwjCvoM