A chat with Joachim Spieth about his new album Tides

To be able to generate a sound identity that goes further, is a privilege reserved for a few artists; Joachim Spieth is truly one of them.

The cologne based producer owner of the legendary Affin label, has been crafting records for more than 20 years and now presents Tides, his second full-length album. Divided into 8 tracks and built by seemingly endless interwoven surfaces, the melancholia as well as euphoria creates curves of tension between deep immersive moments which are the essence of Tides.

While listening to Tides, swirls of emotions awakened which instantly made me want to talk with Joachim about his new concept and album.

Hello Joachim, It is a pleasure to interview you.

Hi, my pleasure. 

Tides, your second long player has just been released. What can you tell us about the concept behind it? What does it mean to you?

I noticed in the flow of the production how the sound waves spread, so the title “Tides” seemed very appropriate to me. Because everything runs in cycles, begins and ends to start again. I am not an artist who creates a concept at the beginning to which everything that follows is subordinated. However, my music clearly does not originate in a vacuum. I certainly have ideas and procedures that I follow. 

I see the album itself as an important step, because I have never tried to put something comparable on an album. Irradiance, the predecessor (2017), was deliberately to be understood as a “door opener”, bringing together ambient with broken beats and spherical techno on one work. At “Tides” I wanted to leave all beats aside and see how it feels.

When we dive into you wonderful catalogue, we get your immersive atmospheric sound that is always present. However, Tides is now specially focused on Ambient. Why just ambient?

As already described above, it was exciting for me to focus on ambient. To act a little more concentrated, to commit myself to a certain mood.

Let us know how this new album was developed as a whole, and share with us the story behind Joachim Spieth’s pieces.

It is very much about the superimposition of sounds, doubles, crossfading of loop points. At a certain point, the beginning and the end are no longer visible, not important, because it is about the moment, the now. In addition, there is no clear “story” behind it, the listener is invited to develop his own story. The music can provide the trigger, come up with something, or just let yourself go.

Is there any particular emotion that you would like to evoke in a Tides listener? Or it is a LP of limitless expression that emerged via improvisations?

I am less interested in giving listeners any restrictions. Everyone feels different. It provides a basis, and everyone develops their own image.

You can easily find it boring, or you feel attracted… Music that does not use words, opens up just this freedom to develop your own idea of what is going on. I find that exciting.

Getting into a more personal side, what is Joachim’s regular day like?

I spend a lot of time with my music (who would have guessed). I take care of the labels needs (Affin). For having breaks I walk in nature a lot… besides that I guess my life is not very different from others.

Being honest, for me it is quite a sublime experience listening to a good ambient record. How do you feel when ambient music is playing? Additionally, what kind of music do you also enjoy?

For me, ambient is the music that expresses the greatest possible freedom and creates a lot of room for interpretation. It’s about slowing down, finding one to yourself, learn to forget. Apart from that, I logically listen to a lot of electronic music …

Do you see that electronic music is losing that important political voice of the beginning? Nowadays, how important do you think is maintaining in our art, a highly politicized message?

I think everyone has their own idea of whether politics belongs in art or not. I don’t like clear messages in my own work. I am not interested in receiving ambiguous messages through the music of others. On the other hand, it is also clear to me that art never takes place in a vacuum, so the external conditions always have an impact on the result of art.

What’s the hardest thing you had to overcome to dedicate yourself to the arts?

I just started making music and never worried about the difficulties. I need music, that’s normal for me 🙂

“Tides” by Joachim Spieth is out now and you can buy it here.

More about Joachim Spieth here.

More about Affin here.

Say hi to Marco here

Ambient. Deep electronic music Experimental hypnotic Techno Affin Joachim Spieth Marco Uson
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