Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Danielle Dax: Dark Adapted Eye (Expanded Edition - 7 Bonus Tracks) 1988


Danielle Dax (born 23 September 1958) is an English experimental musician and producer most active from the late-1970s to the mid-1990s. She was born Danielle Gardner, in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England.

Danielle Dax is a singer/songwriter, multi- instrumentalist, producer, artist and interior/garden designer.

During her musical career she has been a pioneer and experimentalist whose work has been a strong influence on many who followed her. Her music incorporates numerous styles including - classical, blues, electronica, indian, rock, African, psychedelic and medieval which blend together to create something utterly unique.

Dax was born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex and spent the majority of her early childhood with her

grandparents who encouraged her love of art, nature and the occult. She began performing at the age of three on the Southend Bandstand as an 'orange jellybaby' and later in Benjamin Britten's 'Noyeh's Fludde' at the Royal Albert Hall. She also designed posters and programmes for Opera East and studied classical flute at school.

In 1979 Dax met Karl Blake and painted the artwork for Lemon Kitten's first EP 'Spoonfed and Writhing', and soon joined the band playing flute, tenor sax, keyboards and vocals. Slimmed down to

just Blake and herself the band released the highly acclaimed album 'We Buy A Hammer For Daddy' and in 1982 the album 'Those That Bite The Hand That Feeds Them Sooner Or Later Must Meet... The Big Dentist'. During this period they also released numerous tracks on compilation albums and another EP, 'Cake Beast', and began playing live shows (naked and wearing body paint) supporting the likes of DIvine, Killing Joke and Chelsea.

Dax was also busy designing sleeves for The Bombay Ducks, The Reflections, the League Of

Gentlemen and Robert Fripp
with whom she also collaborated on the track 'Minor Man' on the album 'Let The Power Fall'. In 1983 Dax recorded and released her pioneering album 'Pop-Eyes' on which she sings, plays all instruments, writes, arranges and produces all the material herself as well as making the cover artwork which was deemed too disturbing for the packing company to handle.

At this time there were few women working in the music business and Dax cut an unusual and singular figure who soon found herself hailed as a feminist icon.

In 1984 Dax appeared in two films - Neil Jordan's - 'The Company Of Wolves' and 'The Chimera' and was regularly gigging with dancers/performers, body paint, hand-painted sets, costumes and the films of Holly Warburton'.
Over the next few years she released a number of successful EP's which were "Singles Of The Week" in the music press and reached number 1 in the Indie-charts. She also released the albums 'Jesus Egg That Wept' and 'Inky Bloaters', and in Japan 'The Chemical Wedding', 'Up Amongst The Golden Spires' and 'Inky Bloaters'. She supported these records with extensive touring.

1988 saw Dax sign to the Sire/Warner Bros label were she released 'Dark Adapted Eye' and the

Stephen Street-produced 'Blast The Human Flower'. During most of the 90's Dax suffered from a long illness which severely limited her output, however she did manage to set up the 'Biter Of Thorpe' label and release the double album 'Comatose-Non-Reaction' and the 'Timber Tongue' EP as well as working on a side project called P.I.N. (Progressive Intelligence Network).

She was also putting the finishing touches to her astonishing Brixton apartment which featured in a number of magazines including 'The London Evening Standard', 'She' and 'British Alcan' and on TV in 'Des Res' and 'Home Front'. In 1997 the BBC awarded her their Designer-Of-The-Year trophy and in 2000 she graduated with a distinction in garden design at the English Gardening School at the Chelsea Physic Garden.

In 2006 Dax and David Knight put together new backing tracks for a number of spoken word performances in France, Italy and London. She has also added live improvised vocals to shows by The Amal Gamal Ensemble, Faust (Corsica Studio) and the cover artwork and 'Jack Sorrow' vocal to the UnicaZurn album 'Temporal Bends'.

At present Dax continues designing, painting and music making at her home in London were she lives with her husband Adrian and four cats.

[ AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett  

While Dark Adapted Eye is really just an expanded edition of Inky Bloaters for the American market -- minus one track from the original but with a slew of other cuts from other sources -- it does give the best possible case around for Danielle Dax' sometimes harrowing, often surprising art. The emphasis is

certainly on her later stabs at commercial possibilities, which she has just as much of a knack and sense for as she does for heavy-duty experimentalism. A dominant influence on her work in this more mainstream vein is an interesting one; Marc Bolan whose cryptic lyrics and ear for a fuzz guitar hook inform some of the best moments here. Certainly "Big Hollow Man" is as excellent a revamp and updating of the classic T. Rex acoustic/electric boogie as many, but Dax makes her own stamp quite clear, ripping into the materialistic creep of the title with a snarl.

The new cuts specifically done for the collection similarly work with such an addictive and attractive

combination. "Cat-House" is a wonderfully sly -- in many senses of the word -- raucous opening number for the collection, while "White Knuckle Ride" lives up to its name. The absolute winner of the new cuts, though, is "Whistling for His Love," one of Dax' most straightforward numbers, and one of her most attractive, a good dance groove with a fine melody, great harmony singing from Dax and concluding sitar.

David Knight makes for a fantastic collaborator; while he and Dax perform just about everything one way or another, making it impossible to immediately judge who is playing what, there's no question that what they come up with is winning throughout. The inclusion of other rarities like "Touch Piggy's Eyes" helps make Dark Adapted Eye a fantastic starting place for Dax newcomers.]



01. Cat-House    3:32
02. Big Hollow Man    4:47
03. White Knuckle Ride    2:55
04. When I Was Young    3:49
05. Yummer Yummer Man    3:26
06. Fizzing Human Bomb    3:43
07. Whistling For His Love    3:31
08. Flashback    4:20
09. Inky Bloaters    3:33
10. Brimstone In A Barren Land    4:29
11. Bad Miss 'M'    2:45
12. Touch Piggy's Eyes    4:08

Bonus Tracks
13. House-Cat    3:31
14. Bed Caves    3:09
15. Sleep Has No Property    4:32
16. Hammerheads    3:12
17. Pariah    3:45
18. Where The Flies Are    3:14
19. Funtime    3:19


Executive-Producer [Reissue] – Gordon Anderson
Guitar, Bass – Pete Farrugia
Guitar, Keyboards, Performer [Tapes], Percussion, Guitar [Drone Guitar] – David Knight
Lyrics By – Danielle Dax
Mastered By – Bob Fisher
Music By – Danielle Dax, David Knight, Steve Reeves
Producer – Danielle Dax
Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass, Flute, Sitar, Kalimba, Percussion, Guitar [Drone Guitar] – Danielle Dax

MP3 @ 320 Size: 164 MB
Flac  Size: 482 MB


  1. Just totally brilliant and fascinating too! We don't hear enough about Dax and this is truly great stuff!

  2. She is a legend and born in my home town - Love all her output and sent her an email once, got a nice reply too.
    Great post - cheers for your work.