Exposé Online banner

Mark Feldman's Level 5 — The Sybil EP
(Mutant Cat no#, 2019, CDEP)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-02-24

The Sybil EP Cover art

This short but anazingly effective helping of crisp, snappy, aggressive instrumental funk clocks in just shy of twenty minutes, and is in fact the debut offering by Level 5, the four-piece led by NYC session drummer Mark Feldman, with an amazing collection of musicians, including guitarist Oz Noy, who wrote all three of the three pieces here, bassist Will Lee, and keyboardist Adam Klipple. Just to confuse matters, the live version of Level 5 features Feldman and an entirely different crew, and have been gigging fairly regularly around NYC and Long Island since the end of 2016, The Bitter End being one of their favorite haunts. The opener “Sybil” hits a smooth stride alternating between a jazz-infected groove and outbursts of heavy rock, with Noy and Klipple trading moments in the spot, while Feldman and Lee hold down the infectious groove. The approprately titled “Swagger” carries the torch forward with a catchy but constantly morphing groove, again with frequent sidetracks to keep it all interesting; Feldman states that Jeff Beck’s early 70s Wired and Blow By Blow rock-fusion period was a big influence on where he wanted to go with the band, and it certainly is in evidence here. The closer “Jabber Jaw,” which arrives all too soon, is sort of like a conversation between the players, all jumping around through flaming hoops, pushing an effective funky edge that the entire band can navigate within. Noy turns in some brilliant guitar solos throughout, and Klipple fillowing right behind on electric piano and organ. The energy never stops for even a moment. Yes, I could certainly survive a full length release of this; bring it on!


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Oz Noy, Mark Feldman / Level 5

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Joy of Cooking - Joy of Cooking, Closer to the Ground, & Castles – Those looking for a 'good ole time' need look no further — funky West Coast psychedelia flavored country-rock to be found here. Equally rooted in the blues, this stuff is steeped in the tradition of...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues