This article was published on February 23 and updated on March 18 to reflect the KAWS collab

I KNOW NIGO, NIGO's debut album, is a star-studded affair, shedding the Human Made founder's legacy of producing J-pop and trip hop in favor of a trap-flavored gumbo, seasoned with appearances from famous pals like A$AP Rocky and Kid Cudi.

Though this all seems like the 51-year-old designer stepping into the future, I KNOW NIGO is also an amusing step backward: the record will launch on CD the same day it drops on streaming services. Remember CDs?

Fans can pre-order merch (CDs and T-shirts) on I KNOW NIGO's web store with an estimated shipping date of March 25, the day the album drops.

Even NIGO's pal KAWS is getting in on the action with a limited run of bespoke I KNOW NIGO album covers.

Now, I'm sure that Victor Victor, the Universal-owned record label that's putting out NIGO's new music, will also get I KNOW NIGO on streaming platforms, but it's amusing that this collection of poppy tunes will be pressed into a pretty outdated format — there's not even any vinyl!

Or so it'd seem: CD sales hit record highs in 2021, thanks to hyped releases from household names like Taylor Swift and Adele.

NIGO doesn't have the same cultural cache, admittedly, but there's probably a better reason that I KNOW NIGO will be given the CD treatment.

CDs remain the most popular music format in NIGO's native Japan, see, representing about 70% of the country's recorded music sales (streaming services, meanwhile, only recently notched 20%).

Japanese consumers collect CDs in droves, accounting for a whopping 45.8% of global CD revenue (over $1.2 billion).

“Music fans here like buying CDs to show support for their favorite artists," Tatsuro Yagawa, a spokesman for stalwart Japanese chain Tower Records, told Reuters. "I don’t think people will stop buying CDs.”

So the decision to put I KNOW NIGO on perhaps the least desirable physical format isn't a cheeky nod to NIGO's retro-cool design ethos; it's a practical business move.

No love for cassettes, though.

What To Read Next

*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.