12 Nov
One of Dubstep's premier DJs drops debut LP


Review by Dick Dastardlee

I’m never one to search for flaws in musical genres I admire, let alone towards pioneers who are so brave as to progress the evolution of the art, but something about Caspa’s latest release, Everybody’s Talking, Nobody’s Listening, left me feeling a bit empty (out November 24 on Fabric/Sub Soldier). 2009 has arguably been the biggest year for Dubstep as a genre thus far, firmly planting itself stateside as a mainstay as well as maintaining a strong presence in the UK with the help of contemporaries like Mary Ann Hobbs, Skream, and Benga, as well as fellow Fabriclive collaborator Rusko. Certainly they’ve all had their own success playing sold out shows in Los Angeles and New York. But there really hasn’t been that monumental flagship album that sets the standard for all others. I was really hoping that Caspa would deliver as much wall-rattling basslines as all the hype had garnered. It’s akin to a surfer who tries to catch that perfect 12 ft barrel, only to wind up riding 4 ft waves.

That’s not to say that the album is void of any standouts. “The Takeover” and “Rat-A-Tat” (featuring the legendary Dynamite MC on the mic) were both solid dub tracks, but were definitely carried by the vocal virtuosity of Dynamite MC and less by the production levels of Caspa. For a musical style that hangs its hat on heavy bass and rattling speakers, this piece felt more like a long car ride going nowhere. At times I was lost on the monotony of the song structures. Every time I expected a bass drop, I was left disappointed. Caspa isn’t known as one of the harder producers of the Dubstep sound like fellow artist High Rankin, but even the harmonies left me feeling bare. I wanted a more dynamic sound with highs and lows. I wanted to feel raw emotion. Maybe I was expecting too much. Maybe I had too much hype built up for this release. After all, Caspa kills it live. He’s great at slaying crowds, and perhaps since he is the self-proclaimed “dopest ghost in town,” I just expected more.

In terms of sequencing, the tracks were stand alone, not mixed together and there was no theme or continuity to the tracking. As a whole, the album definitely had a minimal vibe to it, something better suited as ambient background music for a party. But for me, I like my Dubstep to be intrusive, hard and heavy.

2009 has definitely been a year where Dubstep has garnered much attention from the media, but this album might very well be lost in the annals while producers like Skream continue to put out mainstream crossover bangers like La Roux’s remix of “In For The Kill.” This certainly isn’t an indictment of Caspa as an artist. He’s far too talented to be held down. But as a genre evolves and is held to a higher standard, so too should the artists that propagate the sound.

5 out of 10

Caspa’s remix of Deadmau5’s “I Remember” (not found on “Everybody’s Talking, Nobody’s Listening”)

Now this album is a must-have – Caspa & Rusko’s FabricLive.37 Mix:

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