Haze was formed in 1978 by brothers Chris and Paul McMahon and were one of a handful of groups in the late 70's/early 80's who embraced progressive rock and formed the neo-prog movement in the UK. The band spent years going through several lineup changes and small gigs, until 1983 when drummer Paul Chisnell joined the band. The band would remain stable for the next five years until its demise in 1988.
The band released its albums on its own label Gabadon Records. In 1984 the band released its first full-length offering titled …
This reissue features cardboard sleeve jacket (gatefold sleeve). In the early '70s, Lonnie Smith's recordings frequently exhibited a debt to Jimi Hendrix's groundbreaking fusions, but he waited until 1995 to release Foxy Lady, a full-fledged tribute to the innovative guitarist. Foxy Lady was so successful that Smith decided to make another Hendrix album, again with John Abercrombie and Marvin "Smitty" Smith. Purple Haze is as entertaining as Foxy Lady – it's truly remarkable to hear how these blues-rockers can open up into soul-jazz numbers tinged with free jazz influences – and confirms not only Hendrix's composing talents, but also Smith's vision.
The Last Battle is the first new Haze studio album in 25 years. They have finally created an album where the production values match the quality of their material and musicianship. This is clearly the band's greatest studio achievement. Haze still consists here of its three core members in Chris and Paul McMahon and Paul Chisnell who have been at it more of less consistently since the band's humble beginnings in the 1970's. But in recent years the line-up has been notably enhanced by the inclusion of Ceri and Catrin Ashton who play a plethora of instruments including flutes and fiddles. This addition have truly added a whole new dimension to the already effective sound of the band. During their 35 year career, Haze has been becoming better and better and better.
A man wakes up to find himself locked in a tiny, cramped concrete room, in which he can barely move. He doesn't remember why he is there and where he came from. He has a terrible stomach injury and is slowly bleeding to death. He begins to explore the narrow confines of his prison and crawls around the maze-like room, only to see a horrible vision of hell waiting for him at each end of the room. Finally he gives up on the struggle and collapses in exhaustion. Then he begins to remember images from his past. Clinging to these images he creeps forward with the last ounces of his strength and meets a woman in a place that stinks of rotting corpses.
Assembling an intimate set of collaborators from the rock community, Muggs breaks from his usual hip-hop projects and takes a second stab at electronica on Dust. His first attempt was with 1999's Juxtapose, an uneven pairing with Tricky that was dominated by the British rapper's paranoid, druggy sound. Dust is more focused, with Muggs delivering a frequently brilliant collection of dense yet lovely soundscapes. The producer crafts each track with meticulous detail, mixing electronic beats, live instruments, and bizarre samples into epic down-tempo pop. Most impressive is "Rain," a majestic ballad that blends a shuffling beat, orchestral strings, acoustic guitars, and the fragile voice of Buckcherry's Josh Todd into a melancholy gem.