Beat Bag Bohemia is half African, half European. The ensemble consists exclusively of drummers – two Swiss and two African. At Beat Bag Bohemia each musician assumes a multitude of tasks. The parts are constantly reassigned. The members alternate in being accompanist, soloist, groove-master, noise- and melody-maker – and in each function the individual style of every musician is to shine through.
The djembe player Rolando Lamussene is an intuitive musician. For this percussionist coming from an oral tradition the memory is his treasure: He is able to keep in mind huge dramaturgical processes and to memorize the most complex sequences in the shortest time possible – an ability brought to perfection during his time as a member of the National Song & Dance Company of Mozambique.
Kesivan Naidoo, in contrast, is a flawless jazz drummer, only he plays jazz the South-African way – a danceable jive style. His timing is precise, his swing marvelously vibrant and his sound impressive.
Peter Conradin Zumthor comes from a family of artists and his drumming is vigorous, colourful and open-minded. He takes special interest in the new varieties of rock drumming: new metal, grindcore, noise.
Niggli, who is the composer, links it all together. He makes sure the music comes together, controls and directs. He accentuates where necessary and arranges decisive shifts in direction.
In the fifties it was Art Blakey’s Afro-Drum Ensemble that established the tradition of pure percussion groups in jazz. Max Roach followed in the sixties with the M’Boom Re:Percussion group. Pierre Favre came up with a heavyweight ensemble called Singing Drums in the eighties. «Beat Bag Bohemia now opens a new chapter in the book of drumming,» writes Christoph Wagner in the liner notes.