WORLD STANDARD – Country Gazette 2LP


2 in stock

SKU: 0599102750 Categories: ,


Cudighi Records is thrilled to announce the first vinyl release of World Standard’s 1997 album Country Gazette remastered as a double LP set. Produced by electronic pop wiz Haruomi Hosono and created by Sohichiro Suzuki, Country Gazette is a pioneering piece of ambient Americana that remains unparalleled.

Conceived during the dusk of the 20th century, Country Gazette kicked off Suzuki’s definitive “Discover America” series for Hosono’s label Daisyworld Discs. To match Daisyworld’s avant-garde ethos, Suzuki knew he wanted to make music that explored uncharted territory. Ditching the carefree exotica of his early work, he embraced the unknown and laid down three thematic ground rules:

Make a country music album (a genre he wasn’t particularly fond of).

Use sampled sound sources in lieu of live performance.

Create a virtual world that cannot be reproduced live.

These restrictions gave Suzuki space to build – and break down – his own interpretations of Americana. Channeling his fascination with John Fahey and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, Suzuki eschewed traditional country clichés to instead paint a darker sonic portrait where fear and beauty intertwined. The resulting album was both delicate and dissonant, pairing the anxious atmosphere of the late 90s with American Gothic.

More producer than performer, Suzuki manipulated guitars, banjos, and mandolins with lo-fi AKAI samplers, warping his way to acid-tinged honky-tonk. It became Shibuya-kei country, a deconstructed fusion of downtempo and Delta blues that incorporates field recordings, cut-ups, and collages to make a montage of rural America. Throughout, Suzuki created intoxicated imagery that is chilling and cartoonish, peculiar and pastoral, soothing and supernatural, guiding us across the unknown with Hosono-san, his co-pilot and travel companion.

In its effort to define America by way of Japan, Country Gazette exists beyond borders, both capturing the countryside and creating its own wacky world. It’s an album that defies clear categorization – not quite country or electronic, it is offbeat, amorphous, and wholly innovative.