Along with the two records by Nurse With Wound favorites Moving Gelatine Plates, Ergo Sum’s weird and wonderful album “Mexico” is an unusual portal into the intense creativity of early 1970’s French music. True, the bands are not musically similar; yet these three albums are distinguished not only by their instrumental richness, but by their unceasing sense of adventure. We’d go so far to say that Ergo Sum presents one of the most distinctive experiences in a rock idiom (apart from Zeuhl music juggernaut Magma) to ever come from France. The band’s one and only album (1971) features the unique voice of Lionel Ledissez—his guttural sort-of-English language delivery described as being “somewhere between Family’s Roger Chapman and a drunken Champs-Elysees taxi driver,” although more sober comparisons to Tim and/or Jeff Buckley have also been made.
The compositions develop at a relaxed pace; incredible jazz-inflected guitar, flute, piano and droning violin swirl around the vocals, and keep one submerged in, yet attentive to the intimate mood. Tracks full of instrumental richness—they simmer, rather than blaze, which makes the rewards ever so great for patient listeners. Bonus tracks include the superb ‘All’s So Comic,’ one of the highlights of the “Puissance 13+2” Thélème label anthology, as well as both sides of Ergo Sum’s musically relevant single from 1972. A fulsome 28-page booklet includes band history, photos, lyrics, and a contemporary 1971 review from Superhebdo magazine. A three o-clock in the morning, slow burn album if ever there was one.