VA: Joachim Spieth presents Selected 6

Anyone curious about what kind of material Joachim Spieth's been releasing on his Affin imprint is hereby directed to the label's latest compilation Selected 6. Spieth, whose profile was raised through his association with Kompakt, launched Affin in 2008 and has since then released more than twenty digital releases by a broad range of producers (Spieth included), many of them included on the new collection.

Things get off to a somewhat depressing start when the lithe rolling groove of Nil By Mouth's “Clavicle” is spoiled by a profane stream of dialogue that's needlessly draped across it. But that wrong is righted quickly when the slinky gallop of Alessio Mereu's dub-thumping “The Queen of Hearts” comes into view. Little Fritter's “Googy Banter” demonstrates just how artful such material can be in the right hands. Though it might appear on the surface to be a frivolous dance cut, listen closely and all kinds of details reveal themselves: alongside the tune's crisp beat and cheeky DJ exhortation (“So, how do we do this / How do we free the spirit / The god that lives within / Well, I've found that what really works for me / Is to just shut the f___ up and dance”), one hears what sounds like a jungle animal's call, plus industrial noises, a funky bass drum pattern, and the near-subliminal pluck of a string instrument. Arresting too is Alex James' “All I See In Me,” not so much for its alluring house groove but more for the way it pairs a soulful lead vocal with a celestial swirl of background vocal tendrils.

Much of it's minimal, yes, so long as one uses the oft-maligned term to refer to tracks that forego excess and strip themselves back to only what's necessary. Think of it as club music packed with throbbing bass pulses, crisp house beats, and soulful vocal accents that lends itself as naturally to the dancefloor as the listening lounge. And though atmospheric it may sometimes be, it's also forceful, as storming tracks like Tom Pooks & Laurent Pepper's acidy wind-up “Patuning” and Chemie's “Entropy” make clear, and with its creamy dub chords and charging pulse, Spieth's high-intensity remix of Deepchild's “Glitches Ain't Ship” likewise brings dub-house thunder to the set. On the smooth and soulful tip we have YokoO's “Monologue,” the snappy thrust of Dirty Culture's remix of YokoO's “No Recollection,” and even a skanking slice of deep, Basic Channel-styled dub from Jamal Moulay called “Dust.”

January 2011