Second Storey – Margosa Heights Reviewed


Al Tourettes has become a well-recognised name in dubstep, bass and techno. His hard working approach together with his unique sound and style has earned him releases via Aus, Applepips, Baselogic and Hypercolours offshoot, Sneaker Social Club. Impossible to pigeonhole, Mr Storey or Alec to his friends, has continued to push himself and consistently strives to change up his process in search of new and ever evolving sounds. His amiable resolution to never rest upon his laurels has landed him a new home at the emerging Fabric label, Houndstooth. This ringing endorsement as well as taking on a new moniker appears to have given Tourettes fresh impetus to further develop his output and reach into farther into unexplored territory.

This new release, Margosa Heights comes as a debut for Tourettes new alias, Second Storey. To begin with, the cover art is stunning and in its fantastical appearance viewers that go on to be listeners are treated to a visual affectation that wholly suits the aural experience. The lead track, Arpy Gables demands your whole attention. I might be wrong but I feel that this cut is unlikely to be busting up dancefloors, however the appeal lies in the wealth and detail of sound. An impending wall of bass gathers momentum after an intro theme that is reminiscent of voyages from early sci-fi films. The rhythm track is most identifiably Tourettes as he utilised a broad spectrum of percussion flavours. Robotic, futuristic and cinematic Arpy Gables is a perfect introduction to this new avenue of exploration for Storey and serves as a notable example of his prowess as a producer.

The remainder of the EP follows suit, in that the breadth of sound and instrumentation continues to be leveraged to good effect. Still Seas / Just Mortal is another sci-fi image inducing workout. More grime like in its pace and candour, it stands out from the other tracks as being upfront and assertive both in sound and rhythm. Title track, Margosa Heights continues in a similar vein, however it is more reflective and certainly helps to evolve the overall sound and themes. The closing song Hebridean Mind Tour compliments is predecessors without borrowing too heavily from the instrumentation that which has gone before it. A fitting bookend, it still has the ability and distinctiveness to stand out on its own.

This EP is definitely worth more than a couple of listens. Second Storey is attempting to bring a new point of focus to his work. Individual and of great refinement, it is a listening journey worth joining him on. Most certainly not a 4 track EP designed to woo the hearts and minds of the fully conscripted deep-house come latelies, this is a commendable piece of work, that should provide its listeners with more enjoyment and fulfilment with every additional listen.

Anthony Mooney