Similarly to his other group, Gastric Female Reflex, Andrew Zukerman’s Fleshtone Aura project is an act of cheeky historical revisionism. Evoking the rubbery tactile sonics of musique concrète through jump-cuts and slippery tape-speed bends, Zukerman’s pieces are also littered with delightfully psychedelic humour.
Side one of this twelve-inch 45rpm vinyl disc begins with pieced-together microscopic musical tidbits and obscured squeals, both gleeful and malevolent. After a prolonged episode of varied gestural abstraction, Zukerman teleports the listener into a broken-down bus, seated adjacent to a muttering weirdo. Amid piercing beeps, coughs, and pronounced bus-whinnies, the driver announces sheepishly, “Can I have your attention please? I’m having a bit of trouble—mechanical problems with this vehicle . . .,” citing an issue with the battery. Later the aforementioned weirdo offers, “You have a bad attitude, that’s why you don’t have a boyfriend,” before the utterly preposterous field recording stops. A brief, writhing miniature follows, its magnified wrestling-with-a-wine-cork sound conjuring an arrhythmic version of Perrey and Kingsley’s signature collages. Before long, we’re eavesdropping on the sound check for a mediocre cover of Tool’s “Sober,” with Zukerman providing a running commentary, by way of an eviscerating torrent of noise. Further cartoon-concrète hijinks ensue, leading to a more ponderous shadowy section that closes off the piece. The second side follows suit, with bright bold colours piercing through a gritty analog-sounding surface.
Relentlessly playful, On Rusticated Slant is dexterous, exciting, and inventive. Considered in light of the present climates of noise art and of the world of acousmatic and electroacoustic music, Zukerman is unique—and worth watching.