Variations _ Interview with Joachim Spieth
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.
I’ve been following your music for years Joachim and of course I knew that Abi 99 was your first track on Kompakt, but I didn’t know until recently that Abi is short for Abitur; the final school exams in Germany…
Nice, not too many will know my tracks from that time, I guess. Yes, I was abut 20 when the 12″ was out, just out of school. After some time I began to study, so it was enough time to develop.
And then you had an album out on Onitor – Fluchtpunkt – in 2000. How did that album come about as it seems strange that it wasn’t on Kompakt considering how your releases were going at the time.
Right, Fluchtpunkt was in 2000. Onitor was a label from my home region. I’m not really sure, but I think I met one of the label hosts doing an interview for a local music mag in those days. Kompakt wasn’t sure about the album. Looking back on it, I think an EP probably would have been enough. But ok, this was a very long time ago. It’s not too important for me today.
I was going to ask what your parents thought about you making music when you needed to be concentrating on your studies.. but they were probably supportive of you if you had that level of competence to release a record?
My parents didn’t really support it when I was a school boy. I worked some holidays to get the money to buy a mixer, synth & sampler. I think you can’t compare it to how producers are coming up these days. In the past the process to get a basic setup took longer for a lot of people. Today it is easier to decide “now I’m a producer “. After some time they understood that it was really what I liked to do. and then they tried to support it (sometimes)…
So how did you begin with music Joachim? Was it always electronic music?
I played guitar & e-bass years before, so I was involved before I discovered electronic music. The first really special compilation for me was the Warp Records Compilation – Artificial Intelligence 2. Really different compared to the “Rave Base” sounds i heard from before 🙂
Was it all hard work becoming moving from that background?
At the beginning it wasn’t easy. In particular, the manipulation of sounds was very expensive (sampler), and how to get along with midi controllers etc. I really remember some days wasting so much time … hehe! With certain software and also hardware, it’s a lot more comfortable today.