Drifting ambient and rolling techno, celebrating 15 years of Affin.
Joachim Spieth has been delivering deep, melancholic techno and ethereal ambient sounds with unrelenting quality for over two decades. Instead of soaking up the limelight or pursuing trends, Spieth pursues his music style with an uncompromising focus, whether that’s through his DJ sets, productions, or Affin, his own label that is currently in the midst of its 15th anniversary celebrations.
Growing up in Germany, Spieth played in bands and listened to instrumental hip-hop before he became infatuated with the timeless electronic sounds of Warp and the hypnotic ambient of Basic Channel. He began making his own interpretations of these works in the ’90s, later debuting on Wolfgang Voigt’s and Michael Mayer’s Kompakt label with Abi 99, a bundle of wonky minimal tunes. He launched Affin in 2008, and, since then, it has racked up over 100 releases, rooted in minimal techno and ambient. In 2017, Spieth released Irradiance, his debut album, comprising eight immersive soundscapes sequenced into a cinematic, ephemeral journey, and another one is on the way.
In celebration of the label’s anniversary, Spieth has compiled an XLR8R podcast showcasing some of the label’s musical highlights, coming from Markus Guentner, Reggy Van Oers, Toki Fuko, Arnaud Le Texier, and more. Yes, there’s some unreleased gems, but broadly speaking you can expect a cohesive collection of atmospheric soundscapes, oscillating between techno and ambient.
01. What have you been up to recently?
The last few months have been busy working on Affin. I have finished a new album, Terrain, which is coming in October, and compiled a remix album for my recent works, with remixes coming from Alva Noto, ASC, and bvdub. I’ve also launched a sound library series.
02. What have you been listening to?
There is little time to listen to music. However, this year I found an album by ASC on A Strangely Isolated Place extremely cool. Otherwise I spare my ears, which have been under strain for months.
03. You’re celebrating the 15th anniversary of Affin. Did you expect this sort of success when you launched the label?
Running a label for such a long time is a success in itself. The conditions in the outside world have not become easier over the years, but the label has established itself after a few years of finding its way, in terms of personnel and style. The goal from the beginning was not to submit to short-lived trends, rather to build something with substance. I think we’ve succeeded.
04. Where and when did you record this mix?
I recorded this mix at home some weeks ago, but I’d been compiling it for a while.
05. How did you go about choosing the tracks that you’ve included?
I didn’t consider adding everything we have ever released to the mix. Some of the projects we’ve worked on were used more to find out why we do things differently today than we originally intended. Consequently, I have concentrated on the state of the label roughly from 2014 onwards, because it was around this time that a transformation began that has resulted in a congruent, sustainable system. There are also a few previously unreleased tracks included on it. So it’s a good overview of my personal view of the status of the label at the moment.
06. What’s next on your horizon?
I am currently working on bringing the products we have made to the public. In addition, I am trying to keep a musical balance as well as a mental balance, without being disturbed by short-term developments.
XLR8R has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to XLR8R+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full XLR8R+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Głós “Swords of Revealing” (Affin)
02. Markus Guentner “Crystal Castle” (Affin)
03. Joachim Spieth “Akasha (ASC Reshape) (Unreleased)
04. Toki Fuko “Sapadilla Bay” (Affin)
05. Joachim Spieth “Decelerate” (Affin)
06. Vâyu “Ambrosia” (Affin)
07. Reggy Van Oers “Pristine” (Affin)
08. Joachim Spieth “Never Mind” (The Plant Worker Remix) (Affin)
09. Joachim Spieth & Cauê “Alpha” (Affin)
10. Joachim Spieth “Luciferin” (Affin)
11. Toki Fuko “Astatine” (Affin)
12. Claudio PRC “Limnic” (Affin)
13. Reggy Van Oers “Sinuosity” (Ness Remix) (Affin)
14. Arnaud Le Texier “Continuum” (Affin)
15. Toki Fuko “The Signal” (Affin)
16. Hierarchy “Hiatus” (Affin)
17. Reggy Van Oers “Reciprocity” (Affin)
18. Reggy Van Oers “Shunned” (Affin)
19. Svarog “Settling” (Affin)
20. The Alchemical Theory “Wet Ground” (Affin)