Koushik: Celestial Psych-Hop Artist’s Disparate Style

Koushik Ghosh is a man of few words. The Ontario-born artist prefers to keep explanations short and let his music speak for itself.

The son of Indian immigrants, Koushik attended classical Indian singing classes with his mother and credits her and his older brother, DJ / techno producer Himadri Ghosh, a.k.a. Teste, for sparking his initial interest in music.

At age 14, Koushik was the only kid at his school making or mixing hip hop. Without a thriving music scene with which to mesh, Koushik explored his musical interests by collecting records, playing in bands, and DJ-ing at nightclubs. He even had a short stint hosting his own soul and funk radio show, called “Harlem River Drive,” in Hamilton, Canada.

After a series of singles, his first full-length, Be With (Stones Throw), arrived in 2005. Its follow-up, Out My Window, will be released on the independent hip-hop label this fall.

Although Koushik says that old-school hip hop was his first love (artists like Public Enemy, De La Soul, Madlib, Method Man, Funkadelic, and Big Daddy Kane are some of his favorites), he steers clear of using genres to categorize his sound. In his words, “It’s just music. I don’t really go out and want to sound like this or that, so it’s hard to say. Who knows what influences what?”

On Out My Window, Koushik weaves choirs of strings and choruses in and out of down-tempo, old-school hip-hop beats to create a sound that at times is comparable to DJ Shadow, Stereolab, or Portishead. But the album also incorporates elements of ’60s psychedelic pop, which, mixed with Koushik’s dreamlike singing, conjures memories of The Beach Boys or old Percy Williams choruses.

If you like that lazy, old-school hip hop but can appreciate a slightly celestial mix, Out My Window is the perfect record.

– Molly Hil

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