I'm sure some of the older ones remember Salz, or else Emanuel Geller & Axel Erbstößer, oldschool Cologne duo that through the late '90s and early '00s quietly but distinctly left its mark in the yet still developing local scene. Their sound epitomized what was to become one of the trademark styles of Cologne, a cross between BasicChannel-like dub and Studio1 minimal tech with quirky pop ala Yellow Magic Orchestra, UK synth pop and Thomas Dolby (with whom they later worked together and had a relative hit). Their own releases were not few but almost exclusively published through their own label (Salz, again); they also did remixes for some of the scene's most important labels - while their tracks are seemingly always included in every compilation. Moreover Emanuel Geller is a mastering engineer, responsible for the final sound of many good records out during this decade (check his 'Appears On' list in Discogs), which also explains a lot the respect of less-experienced producers he enjoys. Still, due to the ultra low profile they kept, not a lot of people know them. I had them in the same mental folder with BC artists, anonymous, consistent and legendary, as it was extremely hard to find Salz records here (I only have a couple) and info on them was scarce.

Recently I decided to gather what I can find of them, 2nd hand of course, in Discogs. eBay, etc. And I came upon this one, not by Salz (the duo) but on their label. Turquoise is Gerd Türke, obviously a friend of theirs as he published exclusively there. I know almost nothing about him, except that he seemed to be in the group Les Immer Essen with a certain Joerg Burger (*) during the '80s and '90s, with whom they're still exchanging remixes and obviously share the same sensibilities when it comes to pop vocals or synth techno.

To my ears this is more of a pop record than a techno one, in the sense that it's more influenced by wave pop than by Jeff Mills and has more 'songs' than 'tracks'. Oldschool, you might say, but that also goes for most of the Cologne releases of those years, there's more emphasis on melodies and song structure than in percussion trickery or sparky programming. As you can assume, it fits well besides releases by The Modernist. A similar music-wise release is the earlier posted 'Du Bist Die Stadt' compilation.

Turquoise - 2002 selftitled
Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.

A Salz track can found here. More here.

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