Exposé Online banner

Ergo Sum — Mexico
(Musea FGBG 4066.AR, 1971/1993, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1994-02-01:

Mexico Cover art 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.

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.

Filed under: Reissues , 1993 releases, 1971 releases

Related artist(s): Ergo Sum

More info

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Billy Currie - Still Movement – Billy Currie’s most recent solo album can be categorized as being squarely in the new age/techno bordering on ambient but within in a slightly more favorable light. Currie has continued to...  (2005) » Read more

Various Artists - Thousand Days of Yesterdays - A Tribute to Captain Beyond – For most of us, Captain Beyond is a sort of footnote in the history of progressive rock, having achieved little apparent success or recognition for the three records they released between 1971 and...  (2001) » Read more

All Over Everywhere - Inner Firmaments Decay – I really wanted to like this one. It’s keyboard-heavy symphonic rock with female vocals, with some good ideas in both composition and arrangement. But after listening to it in a number of...  (2011) » Read more

Spock's Beard - Spock's Beard – Nine studio albums out and three since the big event that changed the band forever, Spock’s Beard today is a stronger entity than they have ever been before. Behind door number one is a modern...  (2007) » Read more

St Vincent - Actor – Imagine if Enya and Adrian Belew had produced offspring. Annie Clark (St. Vincent is essentially Clark plus guest musicians) has the former’s angelic voice and mesmerizing vocal arrangements,...  (2010) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues