Noise Level Body

At its nascence in 2004, Noise Level was conceived by its creator (London, ON native Ed Matthews) as an electronic ethno-ambient project. Over a handful of years and releases, Matthews has flirted with a variety of styles. On Body, his latest release, dub, reggae and techno are cross-pollinated with the likes of ambient, dubstep, drum & bass and even pop electronica. The resulting concoction is surprisingly clean and fresh sounding, perhaps because the entire album (save some reggae toasting) was arranged, performed, recorded and produced by Matthews. The songs that comprise Body generally fall into one of two categories: dancehall reggae infused with flourishes of drum & bass and dubstep, and techno/pop tunefulness imbued with a spirit of ambient drift. This makes for a somewhat disjointed listening experience for the album as a whole, but the briskness of the music more than makes up for a few unexpected shifts in genre. (Independent)