Abby Lee Tee – “Herbert’s Archive”

I was overjoyed when the artist known as Abby Lee Tee emailed me again, telling me about his new project, “Herbert’s Archive.” You can read my review of his last work “Riverside Burrows” HERE. The man behind Abby Lee Tee is called Fabian – he currently lives in Austria which is where I guess the majority of the sounds on this ‘Archive’ come from. As Fabian describes this work –

“Herbert`s Archive” is a collection of field recordings and leftover sketches by Austrian musician Abby Lee Tee and his favorite recording device called “Herbert.” Unlike his previous releases he`s focusing on a more puristic approach, generating an introspective collage of obscure sounds performed by Asian Small-Clawed Otters, Donkeys, Pigs, Chickens or Corncrakes, interwoven with gurgling waterpipes …

When people warn me they are going to show me an archive, I am always reminded of the photographic slideshows that my grandparents used to show us of their holidays – I guess I was too young to appreciate the thought that went into them.

Yet, there is none of the tedium of trawling through other people’s holiday snaps here on “Herbert’s Archive.” Abby Lee Tee has managed to create a Musique Concrète from animal noises and waterways that describe an abstract narrative. An aimless wander // An audio Derivé.

The tempo of the two pieces whips you into revelry and then it applies its own balm. I like these recordings – Abby Lee Tee excels at his trade; I believe him to be a Master Field Recordist.

I am drawn to compare this cassette to the early pioneers of electronic music – when there were not the facilities available to gifted folks like Abby Lee Tee – the facilities that everybody has at their disposal nowadays what with the coming of the computer age and all. Abby Lee Tee has taken the sounds of his environment and fashioned it into an artistic statement. He has derived art from the sound of a pig – that in itself is a statement. Abby Lee Tee is a genius, he takes the surrounding soundscape and edits, manipulates and controls the recordings, without the recordings losing their integrity, and fashions the best sound collages I have heard for a while (well, since his last album).

I am in love with this man’s work. More of the same next time, please!

Available now as a cassette from Dinzu Artefacts.

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