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Out Of The Box: Coshish’s ‘Mukti’ DVD Box Set

Mumbai prog rock band Coshish release a limited edition DVD box set this month along the lines of American rock band Tool

Anurag Tagat Jun 01, 2015
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(from left) Anish Nair, Hamza Kazi, Shrikant Sreenivasan and Mangesh Gandhi. Photo: Pavitr Saith

(from left) Anish Nair, Hamza Kazi, Shrikant Sreenivasan and Mangesh Gandhi. Photo: Pavitr Saith

Back in 2000, drummer Hamza Kazi, still in school, saved up all his pocket money each semester to buy the latest imported CDs from the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Tool and Radiohead.  Kazi recalls how most of them were digitally enhanced discs or had a CD or DVD’s worth of bonus material. Says Kazi, the drummer of Mumbai prog rock band Coshish, “It made me want to have the same thing for my band.”

Coshish, who were formed in 2006, released their debut album Firdous in September 2013, which was certainly their first attempt at creating a physical CD that could also be a collectible because of its standout packaging. For their inlay booklet, the Firdous CD had photos which were visual representations of the concept story about a protagonist who attains nirvana. The tracklist and photos also contained clues placed by the band on an alternate tracklist.

Nearly two years on, Coshish will release a limited edition DVD box set, tentatively titled Mukti, which contains five music videos for tracks such as “Raastey,” “Bhula Do Unhey,” “Hum Hai Yahin,” and their upcoming video for “Maya.” Kazi adds that the box set, which is slated to release in June, will also contain behind-the-scenes footage from each music video shoot, live videos of memorable sets in clubs and at college festivals and bonus audio material like a remix of “Raastey” by Delhi electro-rock group FuzzCulture and an acoustic version of “Rehne Do” that will be available through a download code. Kazi says they conceptualized a DVD since they had shot five music videos from Firdous. The drummer says that expecting a major music label to do everything for a band is pointless, which is also why Coshish self-produced their first music video for “Raastey,” which was released in October 2013. Says Kazi, “People think that if we have a record label, they do everything for us, but that’s not the case. We struggled quite a bit.” Kazi is even editing hours of footage on his own for the behind-the-scenes videos and the live video for “Mukti” on a laptop at home. Even then, the drummer says their label, Universal Music India, has taken “a big risk” in handling manufacturing, mastering and packaging Mukti. Says Kazi, “They spent a huge amount on an indie band.”

The ‘Mukti’ DVD Box Set includes a wristband, keychain, 3D lenticular card and photographs

It was their fans’ love for collectibles that prompted Coshish to begin work on the limited edition box set. Says Kazi, “People wrote to us saying that Firdous was the first CD they ever bought. As a band, apart from the music, we want to give something tangible to our fans. There’s always something physical that you’ll be proud to own. A collectible has a lot of sentimental value.” In addition to the DVD, the Mukti box set [hand-signed, numbered and limited to 500 numbers] contains a keychain and a lenticular 3D card, which Kazi says is inspired by his favorite band Tool’s box sets, including the 21st anniversary reissue of their debut EP Opiate, released in 2013.

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Kazi confirms that their next release will take the story of Firdous forward. The band has already premiered songs such as “Revolving Sevens” and “Circular Time” from their as yet untitled next album. Both tracks are indicative of the band’s departure from the cheerier alt rock sound of Firdous and sound like heavier prog rock. While the groundwork for four songs has been completed, Kazi informs that the band is going to take its time with their next release. Adds Kazi, “We have massive plans for this album that will blow everyone away. But we find it hard to write just a song or an EP. When you’re writing for a TV series, you can’t write for a 90-minute movie, you know?”

This article appeared in the May 2015 edition of ROLLING STONE India.

Buy Mukti DVD Box Set here. Watch a promo for “Maya” below

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