Release Date: Sep 30, 2008
Record label: Stones Throw
Genre(s): Indie, Electronic
Koushik's first album was a collection of EPs, and while it worked well as an introduction, it fell short as an album. Not so with the follow-up: 2008's Out My Window is an enveloping hug of blissed-out melodies, gentle beats, hushed vocals, and carefully constructed musical backdrops that casts a spell of peaceful harmony that is difficult to shake. Not that you'd want to.
When Koushik’s EP Be With appeared on Stones Throw in 2005, press surrounding the disc suggested that the album was a teaser for a full length LP that was right around the bend. Be With contained enough lush hip hop psychedelia to brace the nerves for such an anticipated release, though there was also a fair share of underestablished sketches that signaled a potential disappointment should Ontario’s Koushik Ghosh be hasty with his programme. With such unresolved expectations lingering within listeners, it was quite a surprise, then, that Koushik would drop off the face of the earth for three years before finally making it back to us with that promised album.
Apatchwork of dusty percussion, pastoral harmonies, windchimes, mellotrons and a host of other instrumentation, Koushik Ghosh's debut album is a sequence of interesting ideas that somehow adds up to much less than the sum of its parts. There is a touch of 1960s psychedelic pop here, a smidgen of spacey soul there, and a looming suspicion that Koushik has been listening to far too much Panda Bear: he shares with that act a tendency for timorous irresolution, all detail and little point. Moreover, most of the album is swathed in hazy reverb; initially, this is pleasingly disorientating, but ultimately proves anaesthetising.
Koushik melds blunt, funk-inspired drumming with an atmospheric, almost shoegazing texture in an attempt to join the orderliness of hip hop’s rhythm with the expansiveness of psychedelia’s hum. It is a method that should be jarring. But on Out My Window, Koushik searches for — and at times strikes — the fine balance between structure and flexibility, rigidity and looseness, body and soul.