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This version of Sing Sing comes off the Tabaran album (WEA 1990). A sing sing is a Papua New Guinean festival of music, dance and feasting, and this became our signature tune. We always ended our live gigs with this song - a furious crescendo of percussion, squealing guitar and keys, usually at a blistering sound level.

We recorded this three different times: there was a live version on the 1986 Sing Sing EP recorded at the Tropicana club in Richmond, in one of NDW’s early gigs, a studio version on 1987 Cold and the Crackle album, and this version. We recorded this version kind of by accident. We arrived in Rabaul expecting to have a couple of weeks rehearsals with the Rabaul musicians before we hit the studios. But Greg Seeto, the studio manager, told us we had to start recording the day after we arrived. We had nothing prepared, so as a means of showing the local musicians where we were heading we recorded this piece on the first day.

It's based around our interpretation of a Manus Island garamut ensemble percussion piece which we had originally developed for use in Mark Worth's short film Diwai Bilong Ninigos about the canoe makers from the Ninigo Islands west of Manus. The Highland singers who worked with Max Mehemere, music teacher at the nearby Kerevat National High School, came and recorded all sorts of vocal chants over the top of the percussion bed.


from Through The One Last Door, released October 10, 2005

Recorded at Pacific Gold Studios Rabaul, Sing Sing Studios and Hothouse by Tim Cole. Mixed by Paul Kosky at Platinum Studios. Produced by NDW.

Raymond Onio, Mai Nohime, Singebe Boowe, Yaki Tazine, Terry Teonte - Highland vocal chants and mabu/bamboo flutes
Russel Bradley - drums, percussion
David Bridie - keyboards
Tim Cole - straw broom, sound placement
Rowan McKinnon - bass, drums, garamuts
James Southall - congas, percussion
John Phillips - wailing guitars
Craig Harnath - additional sound placement


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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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