Ergo Sum — Mexico
(Musea FGBG 4066.AR, 1971/1993, CD)
by Henry Schneider, 1994-02-01:
In the late sixties the French progressive rock scene started to explode with bands. However the major French record labels gave these bands a rough deal. Recognizing this problem after his stint with Magma, Laurent Thibault formed the Theleme label patterned after the English label Island. The name Theleme was inspired by the ideal community depicted in Rabelais’ Gargantua where he glorified happiness and open mindedness in all its forms. Laurent signed his first band Ergo Sum and recorded their debut album Mexico in August 1971. The original album mix was not adequate for the CD medium so Musea remixed Mexico under the direction of Thibault. Besides the remix and reordering of the tracks, Musea included the bonus tracks "All’s So Comic," "Tijuana," "It’s Me," and a short instrumental excerpt of "Mexico." Ergo Sum were excellent musicians who played a complex music reminding me of Jethro Tull, Zao, Magma, and It’s A Beautiful Day. What puzzles me most about Ergo Sum was their choice in vocalists. Lionel Ledissez’ grating gravely voice totally destroyed the listening pleasure of this album. He sounds as if his voice is barely under control. The slightest bit of effort on Ledissez’ part causes it to distort and disintegrate with the result being indecipherable English lyrics. The only song where his voice complements the music is "Mexico" where Ledissez sounds like a bandito who has had too much mescal. It is a shame. This album contains some wonderful violin solos reminiscent of David Laflamme and equally magnificent Hammond organ licks. I have mixed reactions to Mexico and cannot recommend this reissue.
by Peter Thelen, 1994-02-01:Ergo Sum was an early French progressive band, a six-piece featuring flute and violin, as well as the standard guitars, bass, drums and keyboards, plus a vocalist (Lionel Ledissez) who sounds remarkably like Richie Havens. This is a very strong album, but its strength may not be apparent at first listen, Ledissez' voice does take a little time to get accustomed to, which may seem a little out-of-place in a progressive setting, but before long the power of this album becomes apparent, the melody, energy and unique character of the band support Ledissez' abrasive voice well, and the writing is top-notch. For the record, the vocals are sung in English, and the lyrics are quite good. Also included on the CD are the A and B sides of two singles released by the band.
Related artist(s): Ergo Sum
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
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and 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
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
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
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