The Guradian’s Dave Simpson ponders why 80’s British art pop icon Danielle Dax remains so obscure to this day, while Bat for Lashes is garnering so much praise as the freak du jour. Simpson concludes it’s because Dax was ahead of her time. By twenty years or so:
I’ve absolutely no idea how many people have even heard of her, but Dax was doing a similar thing in the 80s to what Natasha Khan is doing now. She fused electronics with guitars, rock and dance beats. She looked like a slightly more gothic Stevie Nicks crossed with a catwoman, and, like Ms Bat, had a natty line in headscarves. Those who liked her absolutely loved her – like Bat For Lashes gigs, Dax concerts were stuffed with girls dressing up the same. But she spent most of her career as a fringe presence, doing things that were perhaps too radical and visually/aurally unusual for the general public.
I had a brief musical dalliance with Dax in high scool. Vanderbilt’s student-run station, WRVU in Nashville, played the hell out of her. I only owned a cassette version of 1990’s Blast the Human Flower, which, fittingly, featured a trippy, eastern-tinged cover of The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.” I lost track of her shortly thereafter. She went on to release a retrospective that gave a not-so-subtle nod to her failure to hit the big time entitled Comatose Non Reaction: The Thwarted Pop Career, and I hadn’t much thought of her until I came across this Guardian blog. Brings back odd memories of my finds during my Saturday morning record store rituals.