For the Dallas-born, Brooklyn-based composer, arranger, keyboardist and bandleader Frank LoCrasto, beach culture has held a certain, tropical mystique — despite growing somewhere completely landlocked. Family trips documented on camcorder, featuring slinky jazz-fusion soundtracks are etched into LoCrasto’s memory. So it shouldn’t be surprising that in his mind, there will always be a fantasyland with wicker furniture, pristine beaches, swaying palm trees, the smell of vanilla-scented suntan lotion, cerulean blue skies and clean, aqua blue water.
The Dallas-born, Brooklyn-based composer has released four solo albums, recorded music for three feature length plums and has songs appear in 2014’s Obvious Child and the HBO series How to With John Wilson. Additionally, LoCrasto has toured and recorded with Cass McCombs, Grateful Shred, Pat Martino, Jeremy Pelt, James Iha, Parquet Courts, Fruit Bats, Nicholas Payton, Greg Osby, Okkervil River, and Wallace Roney.
As the leader of tropical, jazz-fusion outfit Kolumbo, LoCrasto creates dreamy musical locales seemingly inspired by his fond memories and his imagination. Kolumbo’s full-length debut Gung-Ho is slated for a June 29, 2022 release through the Allah-Las‘ label, Calico Discos. The eight-song album reportedly conjures the lush sounds of symphony 1950s and 1960s exotica and jazz-pop orchestral albums recorded in Capitol Records‘ studios. The album’s title speaks to the herculean task of producing an album with songs averaging 11 musicians per track during a pandemic.
Gung-Ho‘s first single, the trippy and strutting “Imperial Bikers MC” is a centered around a staggered and arpeggiated Rhodes, squiggling guitars, spacey synth bursts, tropical percussion, a soulful flute line paired with a sumptuous and funky groove. While evoking memories of lazy, summer days at the beach with a cold beer, sonically the track reminds me of L’Eclair and Mildlife, who also specialize in a similar brand of funk, rooted in mind-bending grooves.
The song is a loving homage to the Imperial Bikers MC motorcycle club, who have proudly called Crown Heights home for the past 40+ years. “About 15 years ago I used to work at a scooter repair shop in Brooklyn and also rode motorcycles around the city. As a result, I befriended many bikers and fell in love with the culture,” LoCrasto explains. “Probably the best celebration of riding I came across is the annual bike blessing, a rally hosted by Imperial Bikers MC, an African American motorcycle club located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. There’s hundreds of bikers from all over the tri state area that get together to show off their bikes and wish one another a safe season. The song is an homage to them and their community service for the past 40+ years.”
The accompanying video by Robin Macmillan begins with features footage of the Imperial Bikers MC motorcycle club riding their bikes and quickly turns into a trippy affair: we see a sunglasses and track suit-clad LoCrasto playing a Roland piano and grooving over 70s and 80s styled computer-generated graphics and through the visual representation of a ‘shroom trip.