cover carsten daerr trio -Insomniac Wonderworld

Carsten Daerr Trio
Insomniac Wonderworld
26 OCT 2007

Traumton CD 4508
EAN/UPC 705304450826

Listen to album at last fm


  • 1. Manila 6:51
  • 2. Penang 3:07
  • 3. Kuala Lumpur 3:59
  • 4. Jakarta 3:55
  • 5. Epilog (für meinen Vater) 5:01
  • 6. Singapur 3:43
  • 7. Negative FX 4:11
  • 8. Flatus Voci 2:56
  • 9. Crossing (x) 4:40
  • 10. Lucia 5:16
  • 11. Sombre, sombre 4:12
  • 12. Bonus Track: R2D2 Reloaded 1:28


Music 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9,10: Carsten Daerr
Music 7, 8, 11, 12: Eric Schaefer
All tracks published by Traumton Musikverlag
Recorded and mixed by Markus Mittermeyer & Martin Offik

Mastered by Wolfgang Loos
at Traumton Studios, Berlin


Carsten Daerr piano
Oliver Potratz bass
Eric Schaefer drums

Special guest tracks 1 & 3:
Uwe Steinmetz saxophone


After his highly lauded debut »PurpleCoolCarSleep« (2003), followed up by what Rolling Stone Magazine heralded as »The most exciting piano trio album of the year 2005«, »Bantha Food« (2005), we are now presented with »Insomniac Wonderworld«, the third album from Carsten Daerr's original trio of himself (piano, organ), Oliver Potratz (bass) and Eric Schaefer (drums). Saxophonist Uwe Steinmetz appears as a guest on two tracks.

Insomniac Wonderworld – the title allows for a lot of associations: for example the world of sleepless creatures of the night, as portrayed in Jürgen Roland's 1959 film »Unser Wunderland bei Nacht« (»Wonderland by Night«). The director combines scenes from Hamburg's nightlife with the narration style of the American Film Noir here, so creating his own distinctive aesthetics. With the music of pianist Daerr (born in 1975) it's pretty much the same thing: For years he's been expanding the boundaries of his music by harmonizing the art of genuine American jazz with his German roots, finding his way to his own expression, his own individual language.

The insomnia on »Insomniac Wonderworld« is not one of nervous restlessness however; for Carsten Daerr »insomniac« means much more a condition of heightened wakefulness in which amazement and wonder constantly pop into in the present. Carsten Daerr has retained the ability to marvel at things, and along with that has the rare talent of literally playing between the lines. The impressions from his Southeast Asian tour aren't built into his works in the form of folkloristic reminiscing, but as far-reaching directness and suspenseful dynamics. On songs like »Manila«, »Kuala Lumpur«, »Singapur« and »Jakarta«, it becomes obvious that traveling is the album's central theme. Travel destinations serve Daerr as the starting point for five of the twelve tracks; the atmosphere, architecture and sound tapestries from these Asian metropolises are worked into his compositions.

Daerr plays with the open structures of jazz, leaves the trodden path and seeks new perspectives to describe places in Southeast Asia. The results of this cosmopolitan approach are such unique songs as the energy-laden »Manila«, the strangely impenetrable and mystically charged »Penang«, or »Singapur«, that starts like a sixties' instrumental, becomes increasingly complex, and suddenly ends up reminiscing of reggae and dub . Carsten Daerr, it seems, is stranger to no one and nothing in the world of music.
More introspective compositions supply the contrast to these songs, above all the lyrical »Epilog (for my father)« and the piano-solo composition »Lucia«. These homages to people create a quasi antipole to the »travel songs«.

A further caesura are the compositions drummer Eric Schaefer contributes to the album. In the wild and choppy »Negative FX« he appears to be dealing with his relationship to hardcore in the 80's, and on the seemingly other-worldly track »Flatus Voci«, the trio uses sound samples of a church organ, among others. And finally, »R2D2 Reloaded« gives us a double recourse to the past: for one the song has the same name as the cuddly robot in the Sci-Fi cult epic Star Wars, for another on »Bantha Food« there was already a composition with the title »R2D2« (»Err-Zwo-De-Zwo«). It's exactly this musical back reference that shows what quantum leaps the trio has made in the last two years. And how these musicians, after the »Bantha Food« excursion, have arrived in the here and now - distinctly more grounded.

After existing for ten years, Carsten Daerr and his trio have not only delivered the proverbial »difficult third album« as one says in the world of music, but with »Insomniac Wonderworld«, have pushed open a door to a new sound universe. And leave the amazement to the listener.


»An exhilarating roller-coaster ride of revolution and tenderness, wild acts of liberation and gentle reconciliation. In every respect they are an adventure to be enjoyed with relish.«
Reinhard Köchl

»For me, though, the revelation of this year's event was the Carsten Daerr Trio. This tremendously gifted Berlin trio (Daerr on piano, Oliver Potratz on bass and drummer Eric Schaefer) have developed a powerfully persuasive ensemble sound, with avant-classical and rock elements woven into the fabric of their ingeniously constructed compositions.
Daerr also endeared himself to the audience with his charming, witty introductions to each song, ensuring that his group became the surprise hit of the festival.« | 11/2009

»For years the Carsten Daerr Trio has won favour as one of Germany’s most fascinating piano trios: their third CD changes nothing. Featuring occasional saxophone accompaniment by Uwe Steinmetz, ›Insomniac Wonderworld‹ charts a journey through regions generally unexplored by a piano trio, with song titles such as ›Manila‹ and ›Singapur‹ hinting that the band’s experiences touring South East Asia lie in the mix. But to write this off as standard ethno-world jazz would be wrong – in the hands of Daerr and his colleagues, bassist Oliver Potratz and drummer Eric Schaefer, all sources of inspiration are subtly woven into finely nuanced layers: ›Kuala Lumpur‹ ascends to groove-laden pastures without relinquishing lingering echoes of the avant-garde, while ›Jakarta‹'s strange effects smooth the descent into a heady mix of hypnotic rhythms and mysterious, melodic melancholy consumed in a grand, organ-driven maelstrom. The product of undeniable technical ability and intensive studio graft, repeated listening reveals an album from the Carsten Daerr Trio that just keeps on growing.«
Jazz thing 71 | Rolf Thomas