“Joachim Spieth is a DJ, producer, and Affin’s label owner. His first release on Wolfgang Voigt’s and Michael Mayer’s Kompakt label dates back to the late nineties.He has proven his skills as a music producer through the likes of John Peel, Martin L. Gore, The Orb, Sven Väth, and Juan Atkins among others. Spieth’s musical inventory has grown and been shaped over the two last decades, allowing him to define a specific sound signature for his label Affin, oscillating between techno and ambient soundscapes.
“Tides” is Joachim Spieth’s second long player which will be released on his own Affin imprint. The album is divided into 8 tracks, built by seemingly endless, sensitively interwoven surfaces and creates curves of tension between immersive, melancholic and euphoric moments. Layers of atmospheric sounds create a dense and engaging mood, flowing into a swirl of emotions.”
Sometimes it is good coming from I guess a naive point when listening to an artist as you are listening to them for the first time and don’t have that sort of knowledge of their history to indicate feelings about the music. Conversely, without that history you don’t get the trajectory of the artists career and evolution in sound. From the brief excerpts that I have heard of some of his releases on his own Affin label, the music on “Tides” feels like it’s more attuned to some of the more atmospheric undercurrents of his previous more techno orientated releases. That said a piece like “Ultradian” sounds like it wouldn’t be out of place on his “Irradance” album with its beat orientated approach being quite different to the rest of the album.
Sometimes you can sense the background of where an artist is from. The tracks on “Tides” have this thickness to them comes from a perspective of an artist more in tuned to a dance floor experience where the music is as much physical as it is cerebral. Because of Spieth’s history in the Techno / DJ / etc… scenes you get the feeling that the dam wall will break and beats will start leading the pieces in a certain direction. What you do get is lush, ever moving soundscapes that provide layers of sound and temperature, that move in different ways. Linear drones can run straight through the piece at various levels in sound intensity, while glacial like washes feel like storms are about to descend. For every track that has an intensity there are ones like “P 680” which balance this with a more minimalist approach, while still generating a dissonant feeling. Whatever the case is, this music that can engulf and bathe you.
Like the cover art, the music has the colour removed and to get around the same type of quality that you could expect, Spieth has a way of either making the sounds feeling like they are moving or filling up a space. At times like on a piece like “Antipodal” you get a sense of something has created a barrier over something, say looking at the artwork, an ice shield and by taking this approach to composition Spieth in turn creates a physical form of music – it is as if by narrowing the parameters he is maximising the effect.
With the exception of the before mentioned “Ultradian” the album feels like a real Ambient/Drone album as opposed to one that is an attempt to the style from someone from a different scene. “Ultradian” is the only one that does not really fit the concept as when the beats do take the track into more techno based territories, the soundscapes that lead up to the beats do have that more club than ambient focus, but to be fair it could just be that the beats make you hear the ambience in a different light than if it was a beat less piece. Spieth could be quite attuned to the style of music that say Glacial Movements release, or maybe an artist like Loscil in some of the style of the constructions, or just maybe (and I remind you of my opening paragraph) this could be a new organic development of Spieth’s style. Whatever the case for those looking for deep cavernous Ambient / Drone with a slight club feel with enjoy “Tides” immensely.
The physical release has been delayed with an expected release sometime in April, but “Tides” is available on Double LP and Digital.