Defragmentation/Blue was an audio-architectural installation presented at the Beekman Studio, New York, during the summer of 1999 by Austrian sound artist Gal (Bernhard Gal) and Japanese architect Yumi Kori. This CD follows Gal's first opus, Bestimmung New York (1999, Durian), and consists of a very different project. Instead of the speech-based pieces of the earlier experiment, this work showcases long sustained tones. Frozen in time, bright blue lines appear in the dark without beginning or end. Immateriality is the key to this continuous hour-long piece. Five movements have been indexed, but they only reflect subtle atmospheric changes. Microtonal variations make the tones beat softly against each other. The linearity of the music is punctuated by occasional chords of chimes. In the course of the album, one wonders who is the sound artist and who is the architect -- the esthetic plasticity of the music blurring distinctions between the two forms of expression. Defragmentation/Blue makes a minimalist meditative landscape. The first and fifth parts tend to associate the cold sterilized linearity of the music with hospital corridors through the use of breathing sounds and monitor blips (an impression enhanced by the cover artwork). Both beautiful and disquieting, this work manages to say a lot with very little. Recommended as one of the most significant releases on the German label Plate Lunch.
AllMusic Review by François Couture