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

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Liberation. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Seven That Spells - Black Om Rising – Seven That Spells is based in Zagreb, Croatia churning out some of the best mind numbing kaleidoscopic space music this side of the cosmos. Black Om Rising is their fifth release since 2003. Each CD...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues