Friday, 13 January 2012

Review: Ishq - Skyspaces

Ishq Skyspaces
Ishq is another ambient guy who I discovered through ASC's ever-brilliant Deep Space Mix Series, and like 36 and Iambic and all these other guys he (she? they?) makes droney field-recordingy slightly shoegazey ambient. I've voiced my suspicions about this style before - namely that it seems way too easy to make nice, pleasant, credible sounding music through droney field recording techniques. And true enough, Ishq is churning out two albums a year right now, which is not the behaviour of a producer who really has to slave over every piece he puts out.

Still, Skyspaces is very nice. The evocative titles accurately connote the pleasant, scenic expansiveness of the music, which is the most part haunting and gorgeously melancholic. Tracks like The Sun Arcs A Smile and A New Day, for all their bile-raising sappy titles, do stand out from your typical soporific blogbient haze and delicately caress my heartstrings. And there is even a bad track here - the incongruously gloomy Distant Shores, which sounds EXACTLY THE FUCKING SAME if you skip through it at random. This all suggests a creative craft with a bit more riding on it, the capacity to make a piece that's notably good or bad, rather than blandly pleasant.

Again, though, the question is whether I'll ever go back to this album. This kind of ambient seems tailor-made for the endless info-bombardment of the Internet music scene, which is perhaps why the producers are so frighteningly prolific. Someone who professes to like this style will probably listen to dozens of albums like this every month, endlessly flitting through more and more pretty ambient albums but never really going back and repeatedly listening to any of them. The advantage of this album is it has highlights, which makes it perfect for cherry-picking for ambient DJs, but I honestly just do not think I'll go back to it, ever. It all makes me wonder: at what point does this stuff become indistinguishable from New Age?

Genre: Ambient
Stupid Arbitrary Rating: 7/10

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