ABBY LEE TEE “Imaginary Friends I”
C20 (Czaszka [Rec.])

Austrian artist Abby Lee Tee goes right where I’m interested in going when considering works of experimental composition on tape: the imagination. Tee has some imaginary friends, it seems, as fourteen “Simulacra” represent over the 20 minutes or so that this tape lasts. These sonic representations offer a glimpse into Tee’s mind, and it’s an intriguing, playful, and mesmerizing place to be.

Utilizing “everyday-life sounds as well as acoustic instruments and field recordings,” Tee crafts a living, breathing menagerie of sound and compiles it into an artistic whole. “Expect obscure soundscapes full of grunting hedgehogs, squeaking otters, sizzling electric fences, and whistling water kettles.” “Imaginary Friends I” certainly is as tactile as that sounds, and part of the fun is trying to parse the sources. Regardless, this tape is inviting and strange, vivid and imaginative. There’s that word again! Can’t escape it.