Medium-boil electronic, bursting with elastic pings, Kid A organ drips, and nasal percussion that neither party nor noticeably plod.
German-born Christoph Dohne, a.k.a. Le Rok, teasingly stacks the songs of Approx Twelve with compelling premises, but too often forgoes a meaty follow-through. This rejoinder to his debut, Hausarbeiten, is medium-boil electronic, bursting with elastic pings, Kid A organ drips, and nasal percussion that neither party nor noticeably plod. The premium on progression, though, is Approx Twleve’s irksome downfall. “Bonsoir 80N”, the skittish lead-off, swirls in a flurry of dub and computerized rattles. By its end, the details have only slightly bulked up and barely broadened out. “Altarboys” rides in neutral on rubbery beats, just returning to itself again and again. Consistent? Yes, but when Dohne opens “Happy Apple” promisingly with dirty club zaps, he undoes the good by never shifting gears. This repetition doesn’t make for indulgence – only a scarcity of invention. That Approx Twelve furthers lacks a spectrum of emotions is no shocker. The flotsam and jetsam of electronica arrangements usually sweep away what beating heart its orchestrator might possess. To his credit, Dohne nails the hazily melancholic on “Choped Ride” and the sweet and supple on “Feierabend”. The trouble is, even the superior elements of Approx Twelve refuse to venture beyond their immediate surroundings.