SINGLE REVIEW: Augustin Bousfield – ‘I’m Alice’


While it would be easy to describe Augustin’s ‘I’m Alice’ as quirky; that would be lazy reviewing. Instead I’m going to describe it as an eclectic mix of electro-pop, jazz and way out strangeness.

This would be expected from his work with Gurgles – if we’re honest – but there’s a depth beyond the strangeness. For this is a sonic representation of something – an actual syndrome – Alice in Wonderland syndrome. There’s more about this below.

Augustin explains ‘“As a kid I used to get strange visual and perceptual distortions while awake in bed. My limbs and head appeared and felt to grow enormous or contract to a tiny size. I also got loads of sparkly TV snow fx when I tried to close my eyes. I thought it was just my daft brain but a few years ago I found out it is actually a thing. Never happens now though”.

Once you know what the song is about it all makes musical sense; the warped, elastic sounds, the fantastic soundscape it evokes. The strangeness is part of the experience.

The combination of subject and music is fabulously compelling. You are drawn into the soundscape and the deeper you go the more there is to discover. Surprising sounds emerge, jazzy sections juxtapose electro-dance, sudden shifts in feel that throw you in different directions.

This is something different musically but it’s a joy. The sound of a musical imagination at full throttle.

Augustin’s four track EP ‘I’m Alice’ is released on 14th December in download and on cassette. Pre-order

The info

Augustin is from Bradford and has played with Gurgles, Mucky Sailor, Henry Parker, Nope and many others as well as performing as Lord Adonis, and remixing as Tomorrow’s Dad. He has recently been co-producing Saint Etienne’s latest album. He’s performed improv sound and noise, solo and with others at Bradford’s Threadfest, Fundada Festival in Halifax, Vespertine Festival in York and the launch of the Doctor Who exhibition at the National Science and Media Museum with jazz pianist Matthew Bourne and baritone guitarist Andy Abbott.

He has written theme and incidental music for lots of TV shows, a number of films and hosted a BBC6music show. He has also remixed bands including Bearcraft, Printed Circuit, Cowtown and Lark.

Recently Augustin has been working on new material with Saint Etienne and playing with improv trio Nostril.

He’s also finishing a new Gurgles LP

Alice in Wonderland syndrome

Alice in Wonderland syndrome is a rare condition that causes temporary episodes of distorted perception and disorientation. You may feel larger or smaller than you actually are. You may also find that the room you’re in — or the surrounding furniture — seems to shift and feel further away or closer than it really is.

These episodes aren’t the result of a problem with your eyes or a hallucination. They’re caused by changes in how your brain perceives the environment you’re in and how your body looks.

This syndrome can affect multiple senses, including vision, touch, and hearing. You may also lose a sense of time. Time may seem to pass faster or slower than you think.

AWS primarily affectsTrusted Source children and young adults. Most people grow out the disordered perceptions as they age, but it’s still possible to experience this in adulthood.

AWS is also known as Todd’s syndrome. That’s because it was first identified in the 1950s by Dr. John Todd, a British psychiatrist. He noted that the symptoms and recorded anecdotes of this syndrome closely resembled episodes that the character Alice Liddell experienced in Lewis Carroll’s novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.