Review Summary: Quality over quantitySkyspaces
isn't what you would call a record with a lot to offer. This ambient/drone record which extends over an 60 minutes likes to play it safe for the most part and offer a fairly basic and repetitive display of bright and sugary ambient soundscapes that captures the feeling of... you probably already guessed it, being in the sky. But let me tell you, Ishq really knows how to make absolutely high quality and re-playable ambient music.
This is perhaps the most blissful ambient album I've ever heard; aside from maybe The Alchemy of Happiness
by Al Gromer Khan and Klaus Wiese, no other record has managed to make me more relaxed than this. Virtually every track here, especially the last, A New Day, is like audible heroin. The way Ishq manages to craft synthesizer chords and melodies so seamlessly and weave between new age and ambient music is truly an accomplishment in his quite extensive discography and of ambient music in general. Tracks like Dawns First Light, Haze of Yesterday and Moonlight Sea sound exactly like their song titles describe and seem more like they're created to go along with a piece of artwork than they are as a just a stand alone track on an album. Although this album doesn't necessarily transition tracks into each other, each one evokes a certain unique environment and mood depending on the time of day that it's meant to feel like. As Starlight Shining Bright sounds like the middle of night staring up into the sky and gazing at the stars and The Sun Arcs A Smile is meant to give off this feeling that you're suntanning.
unfortunately feels sort of like a one trick pony as most of these tracks are all very peaceful and pleasant but that seems to be it. You wouldn't normally want to hear something like this for an hour if you weren't going to do tons of opiates or exhausted. Every track manages to sustain at least one chord, drone through the entire 5-10 minute duration and only vary slightly which can get quite daunting. The middle of the album in particular with songs like Distant Shores - Long Before and Evensong - Still can get especially taxing and are considerable less interesting than the rest of the album. It feels sometimes like it's too peacefull and you almost feel like Ishq listened to Brian Eno's Windows 95 startup sound and thought "wow I wonder if people would like stuff like this for an hour".
But there are few records I can listen to and immediately be free of stress and this is one of them. Anxiety prone people would definitely benefit from listening to this. And although it would seem like this kind of droney-ambient music could be made easily and quickly with the right equipment, Ishq pulls it off really well and I wish more of his stuff sounded like this to be honest but you don't want to much of a good thing. The sheer beauty and bliss this gives off feels like a trip to a fancy restaurant: it was amazing while you had it but it's not something you'd want all the time.