The Little Desert

by Not Drowning, Waving

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And it’s the same heat out there Dry and old boulders in the weather And the wind buffets the skin The red earth, the spinifex and Bill That’s all there is every way he looks That’s all there is If you walk upon this road Even if you walk for days and days And days and days You’d be waiting for the red dust sun To slowly take you away A rusty tin hiding place And there’s red eyes everywhere Little desert with a wood and wind parade There’s lots of heavy drink out there. Dry and old boulders in the weather. And nothing else can save the dog’s bones From breaking up and rolling away Until they turn into red dust…
Storm 05:51
When we can only trust the very closest hand Clouds are burnt, darkest skies it seems, it seems Away from the winter, a normal desire The waters are warm When we can only build the crumble house, a little cracked old wall See the things, sleep the things go by, they go by Storm, here's a cold and old dog, he talks a lot and climbs the winter tree He feels the winds and sees all around from up there The waters are warm The winters are warm When we can only trust the very closest hand Skies are dark, darkest skies it seems, it seems Away from the breathing, a normal desire
Tide 07:15
I sit in my wooden box And feel the edges damp and rough The rain that falls upon the roof Is leaking down my back Everyone inside their rooms But no one wants to play The words with which we made up things Aren’t working any more An open space where no one lives We are strangers in this land In the wet season on a light blue sky And then no more I heard the old wobbly man say One by one we drop hey hey And all that’s good will drift away Like the waters down
Big Sky 05:42
Overlay 04:00
Rocks 00:42
Pier No. 5 01:53


Mastering The Little Desert 2007

Twenty two years ago we set up our gear in a church in Elsternwick, Melbourne, waited for a gap in the traffic and rolled in the eight-track recorder, to put down the bed - piano, guitar, bass and congas - for The Little Desert.

It was my first album as engineer/producer and now in 2007 it’s up in the speakers again as I get inside the mixes, remastering them. I have tried to reform the original vinyl release as honestly as possible with minimal processing, followed by extra tracks and revisited versions. There were some problems. The Little Desert was one of the first, independently digitally mastered albums in Australia (through the inspiration and guidance of Greg Simmons who co-engineered/produced the project). The format was still being developed and those early bugs have infested the original masters. Last year I backed up all the NDW digital masters (mastered to PCM 501 beta video tape), and as with copying them back
then, it was hard to find a compatible Beta video player with solid tracking. So I have had to cut and paste mixes together, and in some cases they were irretrievable: Blackfish Creek is the CD remix version and Empty Trees and Buildings is the instrumental mix (sorry Amanda). There are a few digital artefacts that we decided to leave in, they’re the character of the recording technology of that era.

Happy journeys fellow sonic adventurers. Tim Cole.


released October 10, 1985

The Same Heat recorded at Production Workshop, engineered by Greg Simmons and Platinum Studios, engineered by Chris Corr. Mixed at Platinum Studios by Chris Corr. A Selling of the Rock recorded at Sing Sing Studios, August 1990 by Tim Cole mixed at Hothouse Studios October ~ November 1990 by Tim Cole. Overlay recorded at Pig Pen
Studios, mixed at the Sound Asylum by Tim Cole.

All other material: piano, congas, cello, Korean chimes, brass tubes, triangles, footsteps and drums were recorded in an old church in Elsternwick 1985.

Engineered by Tim Cole. Mixed down at Working Class Recorders, Cheltenham and Hothouse Studios 1990.
Engineered by Tim Cole with Greg Simmons.

Produced by Not Drowning,Waving, except The Same Heat by Chris Corr and NDW.

Mastered by Tim Cole a third ear master

All lyrics by David Bridie

All rights to sound recordings by Les Gilbert are reserved Les Gilbert ©1985

Water colour and colour photo by Janice Hunter, photograph of Not Drowning, Waving by Philip Greenwood

Additional photography by Tim Cole and Naomi Pullen. Art & Design by Russel Bradley

Special Thanks to: Graeme Clarke for the use of the church, Roger Campbell, Bill Tolson, Naomi Pullen, Darren Geraghty, Brian Peters, Paul O'Leary, Nadine Solowicj, Mark Worth, The Fluffy Boys and Mark Bishop.

2007: Thanks to Philip Mortlock, Chris Gough, Bernard Galbally, Jon Casimir, Rachel Connor, Peter Blight, Warren, Paul and all the gang at Liberation, John and Joe from Crystal Mastering, Bob Chettle, Dennis O'Brien, Karen Walker, Karin Berg, Rik Nicholson, Ed Gamble, Jaime Murcia, Philip Greenwood, Lynne, Winnie and Stella, Ross and Rosemary, Kerry, Elizabeth, Hanna, Oliver and Miles, Emily, Roland, Aster and Imogen, Michael, Jackson and Alice, Jane, Lewis, Eadie, Lauren and Wesley, Karen, Debra, Semina, Dan C, Anna and everyone who supported us along the way.


all rights reserved



Not Drowning, Waving Melbourne, Australia

NDW's music was haunting, evocative, brooding, sensuous and a million other words that excite people who type for a living. In record stores, you could usually find NDW filed under ambient or art-rock, ill-fitting labels if ever there were. Though they were often minimalist, they never made background music. Arty by comparison to other acts of the era, but they knocked out some glorious pop tunes. ... more

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