Variations _ Interview with Joachim Spieth

Affin LTD 004

Thanks Joachim! We’re gonna sidestep a bit here now, hope you don’t mind..

I was listening to a sociologist who was talking about social media and how disposable concepts such as “Like” has become on Facebook. People “Like” so much that it was lost meaning.. and that a low figure – close to 10% of the people that actually like a particular brand or item will actually buy it.

Any opinions for those wondering where to begin marketing themselves online? “Like” seems to be an aspirational thing, rather than a promise to buy, or what do you think?

“I like” haha! Sure, it’s lost meaning. It isn’t an indicator to whether a release is going to be bought, ripped or just forgotten afterwards.

Facebook is just sick. Buy your friends and buy your likes. It’s just a silly thing and the reason why it was built for sure; not that we can promote our music or pics or whatever. Maybe getting to the 10% helps, but for the most it’s just to be there or not to be there  hehe….

You can also see this development on the download platforms these days. It helps just a few people. Most don’t have any chance to spread their content and the main problem is that there’s far too much content out there and nobody is able/willing to separate it all. They just put content online and don’t have in mind that the audience / time is limited.

We don’t need 1,000,000 tunes to build up a good DJ set. The only way to get a better shop system and increase chances for good content is to lower down the content offered.

Online marketing… hmmmm, not easy to say really. It’s good to have different appearances in different places. Facebook isn’t the solution! haha! Start a blog, go on Soundcloud and look where the growth is happening. Connect content. Have a look where it’s happening. but what’s more important is to publish quality and be yourself.

Identity isn’t available to buy, it’s something to develop.

Good answer! I reckon you can’t talk about that, without mentioning the effect of piracy / illegal downloads etc..  Is there anything as a label that you can practically do about it?

Yes.. The illegal side of things is growing much faster than legal sold files I think, especially if I look back on the sales statements from previous years. For me it’s idiotic. I come from vinyl and I thought that with downloads people had the chance to choose tracks, instead of buying the whole release. So now we can see that some people don’t give a fuck about labels & artists but what to do?? It’s not easy to deal with. I saw some labels just releasing only on digital, others just release the files months after the vinyl release.

One really silly argument is that an artist gets money from DJ gigs / Live gigs, but with thousands of new digital DJ’s, the locations available to play just don’t increase in the same way. Also, not everybody who produces music is a DJ or Liveact.. So it’s silly to say that “we won’t pay for music”. It’s just a problem of the time. If I knew a solution I might get richer that way than hosting a label Haha!!

It’s about ethics; those which you might have or not have.

You must get sent loads of demos. What’s the criteria for immediate delete in Affin HQ? Is developing the relationship as important as having the music to back it up?

Sure, far too many. If the message sent out to 100 labels, it’s deleted immediately. Some people forget to hide the header..

To be honest, I haven’t really been listening to demo’s lately. The label has so many acts and we don’t like to release more than we actually do.

Often, I’ll get a demo from an artist already working with Affin, telling me “This is a friend of mine, have a look at this demo”…. or maybe, there’s an act appearing as a remixer on the label and then afterwards we’ll decide to team up. Affin was very open for all newcomers & unknown acts for years, but finally we don’t have enough space for more and more. I try to get an impression if it is possible to work with someone for a longer period 1 EP isn’t interesting for me any longer.

SO, after over 100 releases on Affin, what has been the most important lesson you’ve learned?


Haha – Good advice! Affin is also celebrating 5 years of music as well as the 100 releases. Have you got any plans to mark the occasion? A 5 year wedding anniversary gift is “wood”.. You should probably plant some trees or something 😀

Haha 🙂

We’ll have 5 Years Affin, out on 31 December. It’s divided into 2 the sound streams that the label has worked since the beginning. 2013 will be a year to separate it a bit more. Still with the same idea, but the slots now be will routed out a bit more…

Link: 5 Years of Affin – Pt. 1

Link: 5 Years of Affin – Pt. 2

So you must have seen some change over the last 5 years? As sales have narrowed, has the broadness of what a record label must be in the 21st Century increased?

I still don’t calculate on a specific style in the hope to increase sales. It’s possible to survive and get more people on it. You can’t be sure that you’ll reach all who could be interested in the music because it’s just too crowded. Download shops are selling about 1/3 more labels than 5 years ago, so for the most part, the situation isn’t easier than before. Competition is good, but the time of the people searching for music is limited.

That’s a fair point about peoples time being limited. I hadn’t considered that before. Attention spans have probably decreased also with the sheer amount choice available nowadays.

So where do you think Affin will be in 5 years time? Bit of  a stereotypical question I know.. but especially relevant in your case Joachim..

It will sure develop like it has done in the past.. 🙂 but there’s also a need for a structure so that the music & the scene will be able to survive and re-invent.

Cool! So we’re wrapping it up around now. What about yourself then? What are your interests outside of music Joachim? What would be your perfect day?

Besides music, there’s not a lot of time / space for me. I love what i’m doing, so I don’t miss other things most of the time. I’m interested in society / current developments, the past and nature.

The perfect day for me, at the moment, would be just to enjoy the silence with a feeling that all the work is done.


Joachim Spieth

Affin Records  [All content]  [Vinyl only blog]




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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