Eight Trails, One Path

by Various Artists

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Three Lobed Recordings is excited to release its first ever Record Store Day exclusive – the guitar composition compilation Eight Trails, One Path. Eight Trails, One Path is a celebration of the various styles, approaches, and concepts used by eight contemporary guitar masters. The last decade has seen guitar practitioners continue to push the boundaries of the instrument across the entire underground scene. This compilation presents a series of newly commissioned and previously unreleased tracks from some of the scene’s essential and unique guitar voices: Alvarius B. (Alan Bishop of the Sun City Girls), Sir Richard Bishop, David Daniell (solo, San Agustin, Rhys Chatham ensembles), Danny Paul Grody (solo, Tarentel, The Drift), Steve Gunn (solo, Gunn-Truscinski Duo, GHQ), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Six Organs of Admittance and William Tyler (solo, Lambchop, Silver Jews). Eight Trails, One Path presents an exciting glimpse at the infinite possibilities presented by this ubiquitous instrument.

Starting with its opening track, Alvarius B.’s “El Gomhorea,” and stepping through each of the seven tracks that follow, Eight Trails, One Path serves as a living testament that the guitar, while an old and commonplace implement, is only constrained by any individual player’s imagination. Ranging from the exceptionally rhythmic improvisational pulse that drives Alvarius B.’s contribution to Six Organs of Admittance’s fascinating interstellar exploration, every contributor has presented a distinctive facet that reveals what a guitar can do when placed in skilled hands. There are some tracks that vary a bit from that particular artist’s accepted signature sound like the aforementioned Six Organs of Admittance recording, David Daniell’s “Housewarming,” a gorgeous and harmonic acoustic exercise, and Lee Ranaldo’s delicately personal “By The Window.” On the other hand, there are those that fit firmly into the general tone of their greater discographies like Sir Richard Bishop’s “Quarter Wheel,” an epic fret workout, and the entries from William Tyler, Steve Gunn and Danny Paul Grody. Every track on this record stands out and is remarkable in its own way.

Eight Trails, One Path is an impressive package from top to bottom. The stellar lineup of contributions have been lovingly mastered by Patrick Klem and pressed to spotless Dutch vinyl manufactured by Record Industry. The record is housed within a lush, custom foldover multicolored “matchbook” letterpressed by Dexterity Press and bearing copious new original artwork from Casey Burns. The interior of the matchbook contains both a tucked-in essay about the compilation and its constituent performers from Grayson Currin (Pitchfork) and a download coupon for DRM-free mp3s of the album. Eight Trails, One Path is from an edition of 1055 copies, only around 700 of which will be available for retail sale on Record Store Day. This is a domestic United States Record Store Day exclusive release. No compact disc version of this album is contemplated.

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released 23 April 2012

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