Variations _ Interview with Joachim Spieth

Joachim's Releases

Honestly, whenever I think of Kompakt, I always think of yourself. Your name always stood out for me.. I didn’t know anything about you, but I always figured you were some cool German producer and as I always liked your tracks, that was good enough for me – Haha! From what I’ve read, that’s possibly how your relationship began with the label too?

Thanks a lot!! Yes, the story is true. I discovered Delirium Köln from a mag called “House Attack” and later I found that the House Attack was made there too. Then I started ordering a lot of their own labels and one day I ordered vinyl and ended up speaking to Michael Mayer, but was unaware that it was him. I asked where all the nice music from Cologne was coming from and he answered: “Thanks, we run these labels”. So this was the first contact made to the guys there. I sent a cassette some months later and they told me that it wasn’t ready to release, and maybe to improve a bit more and send something again in the future..

Abi 99 for example was planned as an N.T.A. EP, then Delirium changed to Kompakt with the label distribution etc… Looking back on this time now is really impressive , because I can really see how things were developing and growing.

Do you mind me asking what you were making to use the spacy filtered pad sound that you had in a track like You Don’t Fool me? To me it ís a classic sound.. just as important to me as the shuffle groove.

It’s a sample. I looped it and pitched it, layered it. This was actually the first time and track that I discovered the power of layering in Music. The great EMU filters did this job and I still love my EMU hardware samplers. It was amazing seeing this tune alongside Aphex Twin and other heroes on the Back To Mine compilation from The Orb some time after.

Brilliant! I’ve always wondered about that. What made you decide to set-up Affin then? Was there a particular moment that made you just say, “Fuck it – I’m going to do this!”

It was a long way to Affin. Years ago it was a dream to set-up a label, but I was sure to wait until the time was right. So after some years I got more demos from acts around the globe and sometimes it was really interesting material. In autumn 2007 (meanwhile i was part of Paso Music), I decided that the time was right to start something on my own, with my own ideas how to grow, etc. I think it was a good decision. I’ve lost a bit of time for producing my own tracks since, but in the end it was just right… now, 5 years after I’m proud that I had the chance to present fresh & unique new acts, and after some time we also got “bigger” acts. The interest to release on Affin nowadays is really big, so much so, that the catalogue is growing fast.

The thing I like about Affin, is its diversity. I heard you saying that we have enough labels that do predictable releases.. but is diversity a brave and sometimes dangerous hobby?

i didn’t really care about if that could be dangerous or not. as a producer i worked on different styles from the begin, as a dj i also combine several sub styles, so why do a label with the same point of view? i think it’s much more true and it identifies the label. i like to see the labels tunes being charted from “different sides”. this prevents from being too lazy and boring….  and the djs around got it, that this label stands for diversity, but always for quality.


Music production and history are my biggest passions in life. Though people often say that Techno is faceless and should be about the music blah, blah, blah.. I believe in the need to document the people and stories behind it. Techno is a very small world in reality and I think it needs a proper resource. I hope that everyone who is interested in Techno finds this blog accessible in terms of the way that it is written. I personally prefer to hear the artists voice as loud as the music and never enjoy synopsised and pasteurised versions of old conversation; the sort that's peppered with the occasional quote here and there.

3 Responses to “Variations _ Interview with Joachim Spieth”

  1. Mono.xID

    Jan 08. 2013

    very nice interview.Joachim seems to be a real nice person.

    Reply to this comment
    • ICN

      Jan 08. 2013

      Oh appearances can be deceptive Patrick – watch out! hahaha – ah no.. I agree. He’s dead on Mate. Such a nice person to chat with.


      Reply to this comment


  1. Interview on Subsekt | Joachim Spieth - 27/02/2013

    […] Affin is celebrating a birthday. I’ve been listening to Joachim for a decade by this stage, so it was cool to fire some Q’s his way.. Joachim first came to people’s attention on the legendary Cologne label – Kompakt, and over the years has branched out to running his own label – Affin. The beauty of this label for me is its bravery and diversity.. which closely mirrors Speith’s own approach to production & DJ’ing.I’ve been a genuine fan of his music for a long time, so it was nice to get the opportunity to ask some direct questions about the stuff that I’ve always wanted to know. We talked about some of his early releases and the challenges of becoming a producer so young and why he decided to set up a label of his own. Later, he discussed his attitudes towards modern marketing, finding the balance between work and finding the time to create music. Finally, he shared his plans to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Affin and his hopes for the future… (read more) […]

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