Adam Kime is the creative force behind Ash Radio. He recently released a complete DIY effort entitled Fiction In Blue, which showcases an eclectic mix of music. Some of it works, some of doesn’t but what it does do is establish a decent foundation in which he can build off of.
One of the issues that is seldom talked about with DIY production is the mixing of recorded instruments and programmed instrumentation and the dichotomy it creates. There is a surplus of artists who record their vocals and guitars at home with consumer gear and then insert virtual instruments such as drums, etc. Kime does this and the recorded instrumentation at times (like the guitars) sounds juxtaposed against the perfectly clean programmed drums.
There are ways around this such as using Tape saturation plugin over the whole mix, which abate these kinds of issues. In Kime’s case the usual suspects such as untreated vocals and thin sounding guitars, which offend DIY are the most obvious. Despite these issues Kime’s songs occasionally shine through.
Kime’s biggest strength is his ability to fit in a good amount of engaging music into a two or three minute time span. He doesn’t dwell and strikes fast. That being said some of the music is quite scattered and doesn’t feel related. The instrumental song “Less Parallel” sound worlds away from the piano ballad “Once A Snake.”
At this point Kime’s best songs are the ones with a lot of elements such as “Twisting Roads.” He combines bells, percussive elements and arpeggiated synths with guitars, which in this case meshed well. The mix is strong here and so is the music. Another decent track is “Candle Cove” except his vocals sit on top of the mix rather than in it, which is noticeable even to the untrained ear.
I thought the highlight of the album was “All Blue,” which not only contains solid guitar parts but is mixed better then a number of the other songs. As the album progresses there are some songs that are decent and others that seem to miss completely.
Kime has some talent but still has a ways to go to compete with the best indie music around today. At some point he want to befriend an engineer or learn a bit more about production if he is going to stick to DIY. Overall, a good start but it is a work in progress
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook