Friday, August 02, 2013
HAZE: THE MYSTERY RECORD AND NUMERO GROUP MEET!
Years and years and YEARS ago Shelley found an unmarked test pressing in a huge collection of records she lucked into. She had no idea what was on it, and she definitely had no idea what a huge role it would play in the world of Shuffle Function. As soon as she dropped the needle on it she insisted that I take a listen, and the music immediately blew me away. Usually when you find find these test pressings they turn out to be polka bands or choirs or any number of mundane things. This record was filled with some seriously tight and funky sounds. The problem was that there was no information at all on the label. Just a date and a few numbers.
Every once and a while we would spin a track on the show, begging folks for any information they might have regarding the act. Based on the sounds we assumed they might be from California, but we really had no idea. Leads trickled in from listeners, but they would come up dead ends. Shelley decided to reach out to various website that specialize in rare recordings, as well as magazines like Wax Poetics and record labels like Numero Group in the hopes that they might recognize something. The only thing they could tell us was the the music was AMAZING, but they had no idea who the band was or what the album was called.
After years of digging around we decided we needed to make one last push to try and solve the mystery. We dedicated an entire anniversary show to the record, playing it from start to finish, and we repeated our pleas for assistance. During the show we picked out various lyrics and would search the internet for any matches that might point the way. Unexpectedly, Shelley found a match on a compilation album that luckily had sound files to listen to. By keying in the lyrics "I Do Love My Lady" she was able to find a song called "I Do Love My Lady" by a band called Haze.
Just like that, the hunt was over. The story, however, was far from over.
"I Do Love My Lady" was on the debut album from Haze. It turns out that the song was released as a single and it charted nationally. As solid as that song is, the entire album is a revelation. Now that we knew who they were, we decided we had to find them just to tell them how good their music was, as well as to find out the story behind this album we had been investigating for so long.
Shelley wrote a post on the blog that reached out to the band, and asking them to contact us. Our hope was that somebody involved with the band would do some random search and would stumble across our desperate pleas. Not long afterwards we received an e-mail from the wife of one of the band members, and from this moment on the ball really started rolling. Not only would we be able to interview the band members for the show, but we would actually get to meet these phantoms that had played such a large role in the show!
The two part year end special where we let the band tell their story is one of the highlights of our radio career. Hearing the music was amazing enough, but the story was crazier and bigger than we could ever imagine. From there we ended up getting the attention of T.D. Mischke, who was doing a podcast through City Pages, and their story ended up being a City Pages cover story. Click on the link to get the full story of how Shelley ended up with the record. One red light or one hit of the snooze button and the Mystery Record would have vanished without a trace.
This is a story we've told many many times. Why did I tell it again? Because in November Numero Group, my favorite reissue label, is putting out Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound. It's a 4 LP collection that details the evolution of the scene that Prince came out of. That would be amazing enough, but the best part (for us) is that it includes two songs by Haze! You'll get to hear "I Do Love My Lady", as well as "Waiting For The Moment", which is a real show stopper. It is our hope that the world at large will finally get the chance to get knocked out by Haze as much as we have been. They deserve that recognition after all these years!
Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you haven't discovered Haze yet, you really owe it to yourself to do that. You're gonna be impressed.