Gal – Defragmentation/blue (Plate Lunch, 2000)


CD Plate Lunch PL 11 (Germany, 2000)

01. I
02. II
03. III
04. IV
05. V

The Austrian sound artist and composer Bernhard Gal developed the concept for Defragmentation-blue over the past two years in collaboration with the Japanese architect Yumi Kori. Their aim is to explore the interactions between temporal and spatial conditions and their impact on human perception and imagination. Defragmentation-blue — an audio-architectural exploration of time — was exhibited for the first time in September 1999 at Studio Five Beekman, a music gallery in New York which is specifically committed to the presentation of multimedia-sound installation art.This is Gal’s second CD-release. His first CD-release Bestimmung New York — very different in concept and sound compared to his recent CD — has been released on Austria’s Durian label in 1999. Defragmentation-blue is a minimalistic, yet haunting listening experience. Gal’s use of psycho-acoustic phenomena creates a highly intense and entrancing atmosphere where time seems to stand still. (Plate Lunch)

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. (François Couture, All Music Guide)

Defragmentation/blue is a collaboration between avantists Gal and the Japanese architect Yumi Kori. It’s an attempt to recreate the artificial, aesthetic environment of a hospital, where organic time seems to stand still and is replaced by the eternal electronic pulsing and wheezing of life support systems. At points it sounds a bit like Current 93’s « In Menstrual Night » – another attempt to sound out the nocturnal stasis of hospital wards – but it’s much more clinical and minimal than that. As the cycles of dead tones slowly spin and repeat the whole thing becomes temporally and spatially disorientating, truly inhabiting and uprooting whatever space it’s played in. (David Keenan, The Wire)

Réalisée à l’origine comme une installation en collaboration avec l’architecte Yumi Kori, “Defragmentation – blue” est une pièce où l’idée traditionnelle du développement musical est abandonnée au profit au phénomène “temps” lieu-même. Un continuum sonore où aucune direction, aucun développement ne sont mis en avant. (Metamkine)

‘An audio-architectural exploration of time’, nous disent les notes de pochette. J’ai pas tout bien compris (j’ai pas tout lu en fait), en gros ça résonne, ça respire, ça vibre, une longue pièce statique et nocturne découpée en cinq parties. Pour les personnes moyennement à l’aise dans les hôpitaux ça peut même se révéler un poil flippant à l’écoute.

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