Dubstep DJ/producer Caspa’s debut album, Everybody’s Talking, Nobody’s Listening!, takes the shadows and grime of the London-born electronic music genre and adds a bit of shimmer to it. Caspa has been an important component of the UK’s thriving scene for years now, contributing mixtapes and remixes of artists like Depeche Mode and Kid Sister. But his new album breathes a shinier, more commercial sensibility into this typically brooding music.
This mostly comes in the form of guest vocalists, who are employed with varying levels of success. On “Lon-Don,” Uncle Sam croons melodrama over a smoothed-out mid-tempo beat of synthesizer chord washes and bass drops. “The Takeover” fares much better, with Dynamite MC spitting rugged over a minimal, hard, acid bass-stabbed track that gets all DJ Screw at the end. But the best moments come sans MC, minus singer, without rapper. “Low Blow” is sinister, menacing dubstep, a syncopated beat augmented by ominous waves of high-pitched audio torture, and a disjointed sample of a child emoting, “Come on, Caspa!” “Marmite” is similarly twisted, its arpeggiated chords bleeding into a stuttering mess of drums and diving bass.
Overall, you may be better off experiencing Caspa mixing his magic in a live setting, but this collection of original productions has some very effective moments.