A few years have passed since Monument last had a chat with Joachim Spieth about his label Affin. This year, the label is celebrating its 15th year of releasing both emerging and established artists’ music. With over 150 releases making up Affin’s impressive discography,  we met with Joachim to pick out some of the most notable releases, get to know the story behind them and what they mean to him and the artists on his label.

Six years have passed since Monument had a chat with you about Affin and your then soon forthcoming release of your first full length album on your label. How do you feel about the reception it got considering the message you tried to convey with this first release of its kind on your own label?

The “Irradiance” album is my first “real” album after more than 15 years of releasing music. It connects my early musical influences with the now and gives you a glimpse of my musical future. It expanded the creative space, allowing things that I hadn’t tried before…  I consider it also a coherent album, created in seclusion and personal retreat, at a time when I didn’t care who else might like it. 
I guess that’s why it was so successfully received and why many people still call it a favorite.

The Affinity series has reached its fourth installment over the last few years, with a special edition named Affinities. Released back in 2020, how did you curate the tracks to be included as there are many to choose from?

With the album “Affinities” I’m cheating a little bit, because it’s a digital compilation of a four part 12″ series that was originally titled “Affinity”. It brings together friends and artists that have been published on the label for a long time. Anyway, we brought together everyone that had something to contribute for this release. Some of them appear on this series because they’ve released previously with other Affin productions…
The vinyls were released between 2015 and 2019 and give you an impression of what Affin sounded like on a dancefloor during that time.

Photo credit: Sandra Schürlein

When was the first album released via Affin? What kind of music is featured on this album, and how do you think it has aged with time?

Crystal Castle by Markus Guentner was released 10 years ago as Affin’s first album. That time it was digital only, because we didn’t press any records. At the end of last year, we decided to give the project a proper framework and had a CD made of it.

The music has lost none of its actuality and beauty over this last decade. I perceive this as visionary ambient music and really a jewel of the label’s early phase.

Seven years have passed since Reggzy van Oers’s “Pristine” gave us a deep journey – along with a two solid remixes from Claudio PRC and Deepbass Do you remember how these three artists found their way together for this release?

Reggy Van Oers always stood out as a pioneer with his unique sound. “Pristine” set a benchmark for a certain kind of techno. The remix constellation with Claudio PRC and Deepbass fit harmoniously into the overall picture. This is deep…

The Toki Fuko release “Floating” represents another way of telling a story with sound. Can you tell us a bit more about this release?

“Floating” by Toki Fuko embodied a successful mix of ambient sound structures and powerfully broken beats, a dubby vibe and a lot of deep production values… There was also a limited version released on cassette, one of the early adopters of the rejuvenation of the cassette-physical-format.

Three years ago, you and Reggy van Oers released the collaborative work “Noctilucent” (meaning glowing in the dark).  Please tell us a bit about how this production stands out from the other releases.

Noctilucent is the only collaborative EP between two long-time Affin artists to date, and it reflects a successful mixture of the characteristics of two producers. The aural symbiosis also connects the two musical poles of the label in a very beautiful way…

Finally, there is a forthcoming release named “XV | 1 (15 | 1)” scheduled for this summer. This time Reggy van Oers returns with a brand new track and the release introduces the redesigned Affin logo, thanks to your work with Markus Guentner. What can we expect from the first edition of the “XV |”-series?

“XV | 1” stands for  Affin’s  birthday that we celebrate this year. It’s the first of a two-part vinyl compilation that contains new and exclusive material. You’ll find a balanced mix between long-time label artists like Reggy Van Oers and Svarog. And this time even a guest contribution from MTRL will be included as well as a collaboration between Caue and me. The EP is available on vinyl since mid June and is the start of a release series that will continue until 2023.