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Live & Studio Tommy Guerrero MP3s

Former skateboard champ Tommy Guerrero makes either the closest thing the jam band circuit has come to slo-core, or the closest hip-hop has come to ambient music, or the closest thing the graffiti world has come to lounge music — but picky genre triangulation aside, do check out his six-track live set available free at the Internet Archive (aka archive.org).

Recorded at the Moonshine Festival in Laguna Beach, California, back in early October 2004, it’s been downloaded just shy of 5,000 times, despite the fact the majority of it consists of him noodling cautiously on guitar over tersely looped backgrounds of strings, pianos and rudimentary beats. The occasional vocal sample kicks in, the most prominent of which could serve as a manifesto for Guerrero’s supreme understated-ness: “Music, like other art forms, is a means of articulating concepts, viewpoints and emotions that are not easily verbalized.” (This is something he kinda forgets when he attempts to elaborate on political issues, so you might just avoid track five.) The keeper is the fourth track, which has Kid Koala’s way with a somnolent groove (MP3).

There’s also a bunch of MP3s up at his website, tommyguerrero.com, including sample tracks off several of his past albums. One highlight is “Insomniac Remix,” or “fotraque-insomniac” if you go by file names (MP3), which is about as far as one could get from Moonshine’s crunchy vibe: it’s polished and studio-honed, but has an artful slackness that is pure Guerrero.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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