The journey through Elliot Racine's 'The 8-Track Recordings' begins with the jewel case. The stark geometric forms, dripping now-n-later pastorals and cryptic symbols on the cover lead to painstakingly detailed liner notes about the 32 instruments used on the album and then to curious hand-scrawled song titles such as 'People Collect Weird Things on the Beach'. Before the album even starts spinning, the case betrays it's contents and provides a perfect prelude to the carnival of sensation that is both somber and silly, eclectic yet cohesive, and always in the unmistakable key of Elliot. The material captured on these recordings covers a vast terrain of genres and textures, ranging from the searing Martian soundscapes of 'Filament' to the atavistic and sincere twang of 'It Had to Happen Eventually'. Songs such as 'The Fake Smack Realization' convey funked-up allegories while others such as 'Journey of the Oilbird' contain more impressionistic tone poems and others, such as 'Strange Creatures May Lurk Across the Highway', evoke crepuscular cactus scenes. But whether it is through the grimy and guttural snarl of 'That Tree Sounds like it's About to Break' or the sublime effervescence of 'Back Here, at this Time', the album maintains a unified current as it flows through the variegated topography. Racine conceives of this project as a kind of archaeological exhuming of old projects, sound experiments, and musical exercises. When they are dusted off and displayed as a collection, however, the songs assemble in such a way that the whole is much more than the sum of it's parts. Throughout it's entirety, this album whispers it's maxim with constancy, reminding it's audience that 'if you are a person, you are an instrument'. --Dan Sarna.