Inside the Oh Sees’ year-long effort to put their albums on 8-track box sets

Photo by Julia S / 5Seven Records

The Oh Sees’ latest release is a 12-album box set in an unexpected format: 8-track tapes. It’s the culmination of a year-long effort by Seattle-based DIY label 5Seven Records, which restored vintage 8-track tapes and transformed them into albums from musician John Dwyer’s bands, variously known as Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees, and OCS.

8-track tapes are a long-retired magnetic tape audio format that predates the cassette and was used as a more portable alternative to vinyl records to play in cars and on boomboxes. Though cassettes are having a second life through sales of older albums and the DIY noise scene, 8-tracks have been out of the market since the early 1980s and haven’t really made a comeback in stores like Urban Outfitters, which…

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