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

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Iconoclasta - La Reencarnación de Maquiavelo – This is the recent release from Mexico's premiere band. However my first question, after noting that the band is now ten years old, was, "Have they sold out yet?" Seems like all the best do...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues