Pulco – Man of Lists
The word eclectic is one that often gets used to describe musicians, these days it is not rare to find albums that converge and shift between genres. Pulco’s Man Of Lists somehow manages to take the word ‘eclectic’ to a new level. It is an album chocked full of left turns, moving between classical, electro and soul flavoured pop. The vast amount of detail in the album means that really no review can do it justice, and the mind boggles at how long it took to put Man of Lists together.
Pulco himself becomes a hugely interesting character, and his own spoken word vocals punctuate the whole album, often he pops up giving monologues or poetry about himself – he even begins the album with a humorous and warm welcome from the man “as we hurtle towards the void, into the list of lists”.
The LP gets its title from the Welsh musicians’ own obsession for lists and writing poetry to accompany his own day-to-day existence. As such the album is a mixture of snippets recorded over an extended period, and instead of recording the music himself Pulco invited some of his musical friends to create pieces that accompany his own poetry. Far from this method of recording leading to a rather detached mix of songs, the album actually sounds like a complete work and a fascinating entry point into Pulco’s own mind.
After the warm greeting, ‘The Whole Picture’ a song featuring the band Picturebox kicks in, complete with some beautiful strings before seguawing neatly into a slice of acoustic pop on track 3, ‘Music’. Pulco asks, “where is the music in my head?” and Snippet who feature on this track (‘Music’) provide the answer with a bustling soul infused shuffle that gives the album a burst of positivity. Picturebox return later with the epic sounding ‘The Downside of Things’, an electro funk song that turns into a wonderful track, which again takes you out of yourself and throws you into the world of Pulco.
Elsewhere there is a shot of jazzy folk from Ian Thistlewaite on a swinging track called ‘Bugger the Chickens’, some truly experimental electronic music from Unexpected Bowtie on ‘Vital Signs’ which sounds like a brilliant super Mario soundtrack gone wrong. And some sombre Pink Floyd inspired acoustics from Buthcers Prime on ‘Biro by the sofa’. In this tune Pulco gives us some insight into his creative process, he tells us a few stories about a man being carried of by a large bird, and a monkey that gets a job on the TV news, all before exclaiming “you see what ive done here don’t you? Ive gone all post-modern!”
In fact the huge charm that emanates from Man Of Lists is exuded more from Pulco himself than his large roster of musicians. He is humorous, intelligent and provides the listener with a warm familiar presence throughout, often addressing you directly. If the process of making art usually reveals the nature of the artist, Pulco has laid bare his nature for us all to see and in a way you feel so close to him by the end of this mammoth 25 songs that its strange listening to anything else afterward.
Although Man of Lists is a complex and sprawling piece of work Pulco has managed to make it easy to consume and it’s truly worth the time to give it a listen.