Much has happened with Joachim Spieth and his label Affin after he released podcast #41 here on Monument. Now he is back to answer some questions that gives us insight into Affin, the Berlin Techno label he founded eight years ago. We also learn a bit about his ideas for the future, but to quote him: “I just don’t want to talk too much. Clear answers are also a signal that you know what you want.”
How would you describe the sound that defines Affin?
There’s not a static sound, the label is always developing. It started with “a bit of everything”, then developed to be more focused on Techno and now, after eight years of running the label, it’s developing again to find its niche inside a very diverse field of Techno. The label could always be seen as a mirror of my personal preferences.
Affin became 8 years old this year and you have established yourself as a label. What was the idea behind starting the label? What did you feel was missing that you wanted to contribute to?
We grew because of the music itself, not because of big agents or marketing campaigns. I wanted to be free to release and sign what I want. Just simple. I didn’t miss something but when you work with several labels as an artist over some years you may find out that you want to keep things in your own hands and that it’s good to decide on your own.
Last year you stated your mission to be to “spread quality techno around the world”. Has anything changed over the years?
I can’t remember that I said this :) sure, there were a lot of changes regarding the artists, my own musical preferences, etc. My idea of a label is to have an evolution of sound, appearance, design, and music. If there were no change it will get boring.
Would you say you have been successful in achieving your goals?
I’m always looking into the future. What we reached is done and I’m proud if it. I know where I want to see the labels appearance.
What is common in the artists you choose to sign? Are there any qualities other than sound you look for?
I look for personalities & characters. In the past it was more to find tracks I liked. Nowadays I’d like to see some kind of harmony between the person, the music and me. You can never know how it will develop in advance. But after some years of running a label you have some experience with it. My idea now is more to have a smaller circle than just to sign countless guys. And I don’t want to have acts releasing on too many labels at the same time. So ideally there should be an identity. People should have something in mind when they read the label’s name.
Are there any artists you dream of signing?
The Techno scene in Berlin appears to have exploded over the past couple of years and with new blood new ideas usually arrive. Are you seeing interesting developments in the scene you are involved in?
Yes, but that’s not attached to Berlin or another city. Interesting developments happening here and there.
Any future releases coming up we should be looking out for?
I chose to have a break for some months and now I’m working on new ideas again. I’m not in a hurry. Things will develop. Lately I’ve been rediscovering my old but strong love for ambient music.