Frank LoCrasto has conjured a record of tropicosmic sounds for the endless summer of your inner mind. Entitled ‘Lost Dispatch,’ the collection’s 11 tracks unfurl like a bootleg performance of a cocktail jazz group where it’s always the organist’s turn to solo, and someone spiked the punch bowl. Sunset psychedelia nestles alongside passages of space age jazz and dusty, analog exotica.
“Over the years as I've discovered library music recordings from the 1950s and ‘60s, I found myself getting lost in low-fi tones of the exoticised tropics, which has inspired the record,” LoCrasto says. “The sounds are surrealist; a sonic landscape comprised of analog synths, percussion, woodwinds, and field recordings.”
“Travelogue” sets the album’s intention with swooning island melodies, bird song and percussion that shushes like slow-washing waves, soundtracking a hallucinated world of bedroom rainforests where water droplets slip from waxy leaves, fizzing on overheated amplifiers. “Secret Cove” laps along as woodwinds and synths nudge around each other like eddies in a psychedelic stream. The muted piano of “The Islander” is like the ghost of jazz heard on the leeward breeze of a beach slipping into darkness. Throughout, the record balances serpentine exercises for eyes-closed inner exploration with lush, open-air tropicalia.
“When I wrote “Amazonia,” I was at my apartment in Borough Park and it started raining,” LoCrasto explains. “It was one of those really peaceful weekday afternoon summer rains and I just felt compelled to record it. When I listened back I wanted to play along, so I recorded an organ track and “Amazonia” was born. Not all the songs come about that way. A lot of times the inspiration will come from whatever mood I’m in. It might come from looking at old photographs or sheer boredom. The loneliness of creativity and composing manifests itself all over the record.”
Sketches for the record began eight years ago in LoCrasto’s former Brooklyn apartment, and many of the tracks were recorded during 2013-2016 while he was living nomadically between Texas and NYC. As the 50-minute suite took shape, LoCrasto called upon Robin MacMillan of Faraway Sound studios to produce and play drums and percussion on the album.
“I initially wanted to make a synth exotica record because I love exotica music and have loved the tropics my whole life,” LoCrasto says. “Growing up outside of Dallas, I rarely saw the ocean till I moved to New York. As a kid, my family took a few road trips to South Padre Island and Sarasota but that’s it. There’s definitely some nostalgia to those trips that has stuck. Since then, anytime I’d see a palm tree, or hear a steel pan, or smell Hawaiian tropic, it would resonate. It’s an experience I got a taste of and something I’d fantasize about.”
The Texas-born, Brooklyn-based artist’s fourth record, Lost Dispatch follows When You're There (Maxjazz, 2006), El Dorado (Hundred Pockets, 2011), and LoCrasto (Storytime, 2015). LoCrasto has recorded and toured with Cass McCombs—who once called him “New York’s finest percussionist”—Pat Martino, James Iha, Parquet Courts, Greg Osby, Okkervil River, and Wallace Roney, and has appeared as a sideman on over 40 albums.
With Lost Dispatch, LoCrasto has crafted the perfect sand-and-salt-air soundtrack for warm weather journeying, no matter how close the crashing waves. It’s a sonic love letter to the electrified energy of swingin’ synthesizers, and a sunglasses-on, technicolor trip of third-eye tropicalia, dropping just in time for summer. Sunscreen not required.
For more info on Frank LoCrasto, please contact Kevin Calabro at Calabro Music Media: 917-838-4613 or firstname.lastname@example.org