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TOMMY GUERRERO

Tommy Guerrero

Loose Grooves & Bastard Blues - 2024 Reissue

    Thirteen tracks of lo-fi (mostly) instrumental freshness fused with Cuban, Latin and blues, it's a must for fans of Money Mark, J Dilla, RJD2, DJ Shadow and Pete Rock. As ever with Tommy's records, the title sums up the music contained within most aptly. And writing about his songs, his vibes, is one of the trickier things to do, it has to be said. It's just all gorgeous!

    Loose Grooves & Bastard Blues is Tommy Guerrero's sublime debut. Of this beloved masterpiece, the legendary skater himself says: "my 1st album. It was never meant to be released. I was just recording for the fun of it.. still my fave. Oh so naive..." And you know what? It's definitely Be With's fave too. An astonishingly great record. A chill, blissful, deeply moving album, it was rightly garlanded as an instant classic.

    A laidback, fusionistic ride replete with loopy drum tracks underpinning Tommy's trademark reflective guitar stylings, Loose Grooves & Bastard Blues remains powerfully evergreen. Originally released in 1997, there's elements of jazz, trip hop, rock and downtempo groove. All shot through with a heavy dose of soul.

    A total vibe throughout, to blast Loose Grooves & Bastard Blues is a majestic experience, one that suits a start-to-finish listen and renders the picking out of highlights totally redundant. Featuring nagging, deeply melodic guitar lines - both electric and acoustic - over simple rhythms with such sumptuous elegance, the hypnotic playing against unrushed percussion releases a crystal clear stream of healing frequencies. It's ust divine. This album laid the blueprint from which Tommy Guerrero would subsequently explore further on A Little Bit of Somethin' and Soul Food Taquiera.

    Meticulously remastered and cut by both Simon Francis and Cicely Balston respectively, it has been pressed to the highest possibly quality at Record Industry in Holland. The original and iconic sleeve, designed by Natas Kaupas, has been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to this long overdue re-issue.


    TRACK LISTING

    A1 B.W.s Blues
    A2 So Blue It's Black
    A3 Keep On Keepin On
    A4 Azule
    A5 Black Sheep Blues
    A6 30
    B1 Pollo Caliente
    B2 Never
    B3 Solow
    B4 Introspection Section
    B5 Gone
    B6 In My Head
    B7 Soul Miner

    Tommy Guerrero

    Return Of The Bastard - 2024 Reissue

      Yes! Tommy Guerrero’s revered Return Of The Bastard gets its first ever vinyl reissue.

      Endearingly simple but beautifully beguiling, it's lo-fi dusty break business with the most elegant guitars this side of Vine Reilly and Gabor Szabo. Tommy's breezy drum-machine guitar-soul should be prescribed to soothe an aching world.

      By rights, he should also be a Balearic god. Here's 14 tracks of drop-dead laconic beauty, all of them combining to create this unheralded masterpiece. Working with Tommy directly, the LP has been fully remastered and sounds as dazzlingly, heartbreakingly beautiful as it did back in 2007.

      Coolly opening the album, "And The Folklore Continues" can be said to be both a titular and actual nod to his past work. As ever, there's heavenly Latin guitar stylings that make you swoon and the melancholic vibe is accentuated by the addition of some melodic wordless vocals from Tommy. Just divine. The sparkling "La Califas Perdido" follows, all dreamy melodic guitars and twinkling vibes over dusty drums and a fine bassline. The shuffling, conga-assisted "I Would Go With You" is a gentle, romantic gem whilst the brief but beautiful "No Time For Time" feels in a hurry to let us know that Tommy can work with more propulsive rhythms. In this case, they underpin Tommy's gorgeous, shimmering guitars wonderfully well.

      The head-nod funk of "Calling For Ya!" (get it?) features Curumin delivering the clever title as a hypnotic vocal refrain peppered throughout, all hung around some buried spoken word vocals and gorgeous cello work from Lenny Gonzalez. "Bloodinthemud" is a low-down gritty funk workout whilst "Zapata's Boots" is a total low-key groover, all Latin percussion and Morricone muscle aided by a whistled Spaghetti Western melody. The startling instrumental "Mosaic Man" closes out the side with a lean slice of mellifluous, virtuoso guitar bliss.

      The reflective "What Have I Been Doing Since I Was Gone?" opens the B-side in glorious fashion, the type of melancholic melodic head music that should soundtrack a bright walk on a cold winter's day. The hypnotic groover "Paper Switchblade" is a razor-sharp fuzz-funk whilst the beautifully downbeat "Never Forget To Remember" is a kaleidoscopic kalimba-koolout. Galloping cop-funk breaks workout "Run With The Hunted" is a rollicking ride and it's followed by the fresh chiming guitar funk of "New Terrain".

      The upbeat and bright "40 Summers", featuring congas from Alfredo Ortiz, is as clean and poppy as Tommy gets and it really is a look he wears incredibly well. Just straight up guitar pop. "The Simple Man" a gorgeous, melancholic ballad, closes out the record with deeply yearning vocals from Tommy, a rarity and a treasured one at that.

      Meticulously remastered and cut by both Simon Francis and Cicely Balston respectively, it has been pressed to the highest possibly quality at Record Industry in Holland. The original and iconic sleeve, designed by Natas Kaupas, has been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to this long overdue re-issue.


      TRACK LISTING

      A1 And The Folklore Continues
      A2 La Califas Perdido
      A3 I Would Go With You
      A4 No Time For Time
      A5 Calling For Ya!
      A6 Bloodinthemud
      A7 Zapata's Boots
      A8 Mosaic Man
      B1 What Have I Been Doing Since I Was Gone?
      B2 Paper Switchblade
      B3 Never Forget To Remember
      B4 Run With The Hunted
      B5 New Terrain
      B6 40 Summers
      B7 The Simple Man

      Tommy Guerrero

      Soul Food Taqueria - 2023 Reissue

        It’s rare that a certain sound is entirely an artist’s own. Although undeniably a stew of impeccable influences – from blues to folk to Latin to dusty funk, soul and hip-hop – one cannot hear a Tommy Guerrero song without immediately recognising it as his - and his only.

        The cult skater from San Francisco is globally renowned as one of the original members of the legendary “Bones Brigade” team. And as an accomplished multiinstrumentalist, his laid-back soul is beloved by all who’ve basked in its blissful glow.

        There’s something elemental about this music that really stirs the soul. Strikingly beautiful and instantly addictive, it’s a kind of funk-fuelled, melody-driven, groovebased magic. There’s a serenity and heart in the playing that radiates warmth and splendour, as if crafted for endless sunsets. His albums that surfaced on Mo Wax at the turn of the century have been treasured since their release and it’s two of his most vital LPs that we’re honoured to reintroduce.

        The originals were quietly pressed on to a single piece of vinyl so we’ve worked closely with Tommy this year to bring you these fresh, limited editions. They have been lovingly remastered, cut nice and loud on to heavyweight double vinyl and presented in deluxe gatefold jackets.

        Soul Food Taqueria continued Guerrero’s guitar soul but represented a step forward with its polished production and greater complexity of instrumentation. Denied the promotion it deserved upon release, it flew under the radar. It is now the most wanted record of his wondrous back catalogue.

        Guerrero’s atmospheric touch and subtle guitar provide lush, glimmering pieces of musical texture. Within his spacious compositions, uniquely arranged instruments flourish alongside each other to create a languid soundtrack for halcyon days.

        As ever, the diversity on display is beguiling. From bossa nova, samba and cumbia rhythms to understated folk, funk and soul grooves, this is another exotic set of mellow gold; perfectly represented by ESPO’s memorable artwork. Furthermore, the title’s hybridity reflects the intoxicating sweep of stylistic flavours served up, reminding us that, however tricky it is to categorise Guerrero’s special blend, it’s always a pleasure to indulge in something so creative and adventurous.

        Dubby, bass-heavy instrumentals give way to moody folk-soul – witness “It Gets Heavy”, featuring melancholic vocals from Gresham Taylor – whilst “Thank You MK” is a gentle ode to the tropics, featuring ethereal instrumentation, bright bass and warm, jazzy guitars. The second half in particular contains a number of stunning ambient tracks – check “Lost Unfound”, “Another Brother Gone” and “Broken Blood” - built around minimalist, laid-back grooves and detailed guitar orchestrations which wouldn’t be out of place on the latest Jonny Nash release.

        Guerrero closes this flawless set with a moment of true beauty. Restrained and graceful, “Falling Awake” is a pared back piece containing meditative guitar melodies set against melancholic piano arrangements. It brings proceedings to the most peaceful close. Seductively good, it reminds you just how great simplicity can sound.

        TRACK LISTING

        A1: Intro Lectric Chile Goat (0:56)
        A2: Abierto (3:59)
        A3: Organism (4:07)
        A4: Thank You MK (3:50)
        B1: Tatanka (4:09)
        B2: Interlude Train Of Thought (1:20)
        B3: It Gets Heavy (3:23)
        B4: Thin Brown Layer (4:39)
        C1: Interlude So Many Years Ago (0:45)
        C2: Terra Unfirma (4:05)
        C3: Gettin It Together (3:22)
        C4: Another Brother Gone (2:28)
        C5: Broken Blood (3:47)
        D1: Interlude And The Day Goes By (1:28)
        D2: Lost Unfound (3:32)
        D3: The Color Of Life (3:57)
        D4: Falling Awake (3:56)

        Tommy Guerrero

        A Little Bit Of Somethin' - 2019 Repress

        The cult skater from San Francisco is globally renowned as one of the original members of the legendary 'Bones Brigade' team. And as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, his laid-back soul is beloved by all who’ve basked in its blissful glow. There’s something elemental about this music that really stirs the soul. Strikingly beautiful and instantly addictive, it’s a kind of funk-fuelled, melody-driven, groove-based magic. There's a serenity and heart in the playing that radiates warmth and splendour, as if crafted for endless sunsets. His albums that surfaced on Mo Wax at the turn of the century have been treasured since their release and it’s two of his most vital LPs that we're honoured to reintroduce.

        "A Little Bit Of Somethin" is a quietly majestic gem. Brimming with Guerrero’s horizontal 'loose grooves', these brief but innovative instrumentals demonstrate a rich variety and, as such, comprise an LP that is aptly titled. An enchanting start-to-finish listen, it was instantly regarded as essential upon release via Mo Wax in 2000. It has aged remarkably well.

        Throughout this inspired collection, simplicity is key. In deploying it, Guerrero presents a beautifully crafted melodic soundscape. The distinctive, mellifluous approach of his guitar style, blending Brazilian, Cuban, Mexican, soul and jazz motifs, is at once startlingly new and tantalisingly familiar. Set against unrushed percussion, the music releases a crystal clear stream of healing frequencies to create a fragile, hypnotic atmosphere.

        Each track clocks in at around three minutes and, with a lack of studio polish or commitment to traditional song structure, it’s a wonder how this enigmatic record demands your attention. However, through its gentle dynamism and impressive playing, it does just that. Whilst resolutely low-key, this lo-fi aesthetic feels genuinely organic and remarkably personal; its powerful intimacy truly connects. It’s what makes this album so beloved of those lucky enough to be already familiar with it. From Margaret Kilgallen's truly iconic cover artwork to the music contained within, it's all brilliantly effortless.

        Guerrero’s musical ideas are consistently compelling throughout, making it impossible to select highlights. The album’s laconic drift touches upon jazz-fusion workouts and slow-mo hip-hop drums, Tortoise-style experimental post-rock and cinematic sound textures. It’s at once hazy, light and bouncy yet sombre and bluesy. The Latin soul of El Chicano blends with the breezy jazz of Grant Green. By employing guitars and drum machines to create a stripped down rhythmic tapestry of spellbinding, addictive songs, there are even traces of The Durutti Column. A little bit of country, a little bit of rock & roll. "A Little Bit Of Somethin’", indeed.


        TRACK LISTING

        A1 : Blue Masses
        A2 : Four Trk Samba
        A3 : Tiny
        A4 : Numb Millenium
        B1 : 100 Years
        B2 : Pescadito
        B3 : Azucar
        C1 : Flux And Meter
        C2 : It’s Raining Again
        C3 : Today Like Everyday
        C4 : Soul Miner
        D1 : As The Sea Holds Creatures Vast And True
        D2 : So Blue It’s Black
        D3 : Little Chin


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