Boomkat Product Review:
It seems like we've had to endure an awfully long wait since Swod's debut album "Gehen" came into our lives, but finally Oliver Doerell and Stephan Wohrmann have returned with Sekunden, a second instalment in the duo's ongoing exploration of piano and cinematic scores. This time the Swod sound has expanded to incorporate a more pronounced usage of acoustic drums, bass and even guitar. Fear not however, the nucleus of florid piano elegance and subtle electronic manipulation is still the pervasive element of Wohrmann and Doerell's work, yet this is no Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto-type affair. Rather than specialising in pristine digital dissections of the instrument, Swod fashion a far more human-sounding set of compositions, with a clear jazz influence informing the rhythmic shifts in the album. 'Ja' serves as a fine early example of this, bristling with minute digital beats, velvetty acoustic bass and tidal undercurrents of drone. At its most experimental the album morphs into melodic soundscaping, as on the windswept melancholy of the title track, yet even in these more abstract moments the two musicians manage to come off sounding grounded in an artful, musicianly discipline. In its final third Sekunden seems to move up a gear, launching into the romanticism and expressive keystrokes of 'Belgien', before the pulsing cinematic motifs of 'Frost' carry us onto the wonderful 'Patinage'. It's classic Swod material, yet finds them reaching towards the next level, achieving a kind of urgency and melodic lyricism hitherto untapped by the duo. Required listening and quite wonderful, as you'd imagine.