Joachim Spieth’s second album, Tides, has been as wrapped up in the coronavirus mess as anything in the music industry and stands a real risk of not being heard at all. That would be unfortunate. Tides is a masterpiece of dark ambient music. It’s totally immersive on a level that operates closer to metaphysics than acoustics. It gets into you the more you get into it, mystical and awe-inspiring in a way that isn’t always pleasant.

Tides is less a casual theme or set of guard rails than the model for what the music does. Over eight tracks Tides plays as one and seems to lead somewhere, only to drag you back to where you began. You get lost in secret eddies and pulled back into the mainstream by irresistible forces of sound. Masterfully crafted, Tides is the proverbial journey and once you’re on it’s pretty hard to stop.

Tides gets big in places — the rhythmic gallop of “Ultradian” brings to mind something like Peter Gabriel’s dramatic orchestration of Golgotha from The Last Temptation of Christ. The rhythm is something like a racing heart or a runner’s sprint and is uncomfortable to listen to but intensely emotional. It’s not an easy listen but often an awe-inspiring one.

Joachim Spieth: Tides / Affin (March 2020 / 2×12″ Vinyl/Digital)
1. Joachim Spieth: Cahaya Bulan (06:27)
2. Joachim Spieth: P 680 (05:46)
3. Joachim Spieth: Ultradian (07:04)
4. Joachim Spieth: Solstice (07:02)
5. Joachim Spieth: Antipodal (06:16)
6. Joachim Spieth: Equinox (06:41)
7. Joachim Spieth: Abscission (06:39)
8. Joachim Spieth: Equilibrium (06:43)



Originally published in 5 Mag issue 181: A Tribute to Mike Huckaby. Support 5 Mag by becoming a member for just $1 per issue.