Envoy Pro EX

It is surprisingly exactly how hard drives have changed over the course of the last twenty years. I remember being a teenager and being absolutely shocked at the fact that hard drives were reaching the multiple gigabyte mark. Imagine my surprise when we received a solid state drive that toppled the scales at the 1 TB mark. The Envoy Pro EX is one of those hard drives, and marries together versatility with ample storage area. As a result, anyone that is looking to have a massive amount of data be ferried around with little more than a pound of weight added to their person should look into the hard drive.

The Envoy Pro EX is a smart buy for those individuals that put a bit of wear and tear on their hard drives. The IP67 rating the SSD is coded at means that it is resilient to both dust and water. The overall design of the hard drive is aesthetically pleasing as well, blending in well for anyone that is working with white, silver, or black builds. For those that are looking to have quick writing and retrieval of their data, the hard drive performs admirably. The USB 3.1 standard means lightning-fast transfers for music, movies, or work project at multiples quicker than USB 2 would provide. There’s a bit of a crossover hook with this SSD as well, as owners of both Macs and PCs will be able to make use of the product.

In this area of resource-intense crypto optimizations, it only makes sense that you will try to procure the quickest sorts of hard drives on the market. Backed up by a 3 year limited warranty from OWC, the Envoy Pro EX solid state drive should be a pick up by anyone that is looking to up their game.

Envoy Pro EX (1 TB SSD) / 980MB/s transfer / USB-C / OWC Digital /

V-HAJD Interview

Today, we are speaking with V-HAJD. Can you give us a little background information about yourself? How did you get into music?

Alex: Well, my name is Alex and I am the bass player of V-HAJD. My addiction to music began when I was 8 or 10 years old. I was really into AC/DC, and I used to do a good job of imitating Angus Yound in front of my bedroom mirror. I got my introduction to guitar on a schoolmate’s old acoustic Gibson at age 14 and began playing the bass guitar in earnest two years later. As a result I began to play the bass in some bands. V-HAJD has its roots in the year 2013, when I joined forces with drummer Dirk Heidenreich and guitarist Jörn Wilkens. Soon Harry Wilkens, ex-guitarist of German Speed Metal institution Destruction, joined us. The name of the band is made up of the initials of the members’ names in reverse order of the band-entry: V = Vocals (as we had no permanent singer, when we started), H = Harry, Holger / A = Alex / J = Jörn / D = Dirk. The band’s name corresponds to the English ” We hate “. Finally we found a singer: Derek Rock who has completed the Line-Up. All the band members have an experienced background in earlier Bands (Destruction, Lockout, Violent Changes, Menace, Eyehatefish, Frantic on March). Our goal was to be a Heavy Metal band that pulls no punches. I believe we have achieved that. With us, what you see is what you get. If you don’t like your music loud and impulsive, you better not bother with us. But if you do, then V-HAJD has a lot to offer.

What sort of work have you put into the recording and creative processes for your upcoming tracks?

Alex: As in the past, the songwriting process was a collaborative effort for V-HAJD. From the beginning, we took care to satisfy our own musical needs and to develop and implement stand-alone songs with kind of a hit character. We sat around in a circle and played each other ideas until we end up with the song. Everybody was involved. Lyrically we took a critical look at everyday human madness and the struggle for individuality and authenticity against foreign domination and oppression.

What does your recording set up look like (what do you use to record, what are your favorite tools)?

Alex: We record the tracks individually at home with Cubase and then send the whole thing to V.O. Pulver who works in The Little Creek Studios in Switzerland. He does the mixing and reamping. We wanted to have a powerful production, which, pictorially spoken, falls like a wall out of the speakers on to the listeners. I think we have done quite well…

Tell us a bit more about the music you’re working on. How’re are they different than No Man’s Land?

Alex: Boundless, that’s our motto. The band wants to cover musical broadest possible spectra, we allow ourselves some trips in the songs and give them a certain groove – yet you end up  in classic Heavy Metal. Our roots are clearly in classic heavy metal. However, we put great emphasis on artistic independence and freedom. Some of our songs have a clear swing and jazz influence, genres that we love to listen to. We try to remove the blinders as much as possible and are happy to think outside the box. Perhaps that is also because we come from the tri-border region of Germany, France, Switzerland. It is not uncommon for us to travel in one day in all three countries without worrying about it. That is why we also characterize our music as “Borderless Metal” – for us these limits do not exist. We all have our musical home, but there is no reason for us not to leave home and go on trips to other stylistic realms. Ultimately, it’s about looking in the mirror and coming to the realization that with V-HAJD we are making exactly the music that we all like.

Which artists are the greatest influences for you and your music? Is there a dream lineup of performers that you would like to perform with if given the chance?

Alex: My early influences are of course AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Kiss followed by harder stuff like Metallica, Slayer and Pantera. The bands we admire are people like Iron Maiden, Scorpions and Judas Priest who’ve become successful on their own terms. They’ve never felt the need to sell out to radio or MTV in the ’80s. They’ve said, ‘If you dig us, great. If you don’t, that’s your business.’ That’s our attitude too. Yeah and of course it would be pretty cool to share the stage with Judas Priest, Michael Schenker or Iron Maiden!

How has the radio/Pandora/Spotify/other online response been for your music?

Alex: The online reactions to our songs are pretty good. But at the end of the day we are a live band. We are looking for direct contact to our fans. When we hit the stage, it’s like an explosion! Due to our high energy level, the compact structure of the songs and the dominance of the singer, we have so far convinced everyone with our music and our show! People have said we’re a little sloppy onstage at times. But if that’s true, it’s because we’re more concerned with the feel of the music than the sound. Hell, if you want to listen to note-perfect things, go home and listen to albums. If you want to feel the energy, then come see us live!

What should listeners expect from your music in the future? How can interested NeuFutur readers locate samples of your music? What does 2020 hold for your music?

Alex: At the moment we are in the recording mode and rehearse for some gigs we are going to play in winter/spring 2020. Our next record should be out sometime in summer/fall of 2020. We continue to work on developing our own style with varied songs, playing passionate shows and having as much fun as possible with our fans. Personally I don’t know where I’ll end up. But I love music, and I’ll always do it. To keep V-HAJD going is a big wish of mine. We have a real nice little creative partnership. We can last a long time. I don’t look at music as something that dries out. I have a whole lot of it left in me. NeuFutur readers can get in touch with us via:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/vhajd

Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/v-hajd

Reverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/vhajd

Finally, do you have any additional thoughts about life and the universe for our readers?

Alex: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be nice to others. Sleep enough and laugh often … Cheers!

Thank you so much for your time.

of Montreal’s UR FUN album released today (1/17)

Today, of Montreal released their new album UR FUN via Polyvinyl Record Co. prior to release, they shared electro-pop protest song “Peace to All Freaks,” the pet-friendly video for “Polyanuerism” and the intimate, “You’ve Had Me Everywhere” giving us a taste for ten concise electro-pop songs to follow. It’s a collection that exposes the depths of Kevin Barnes’ current life, his private thoughts—both optimistic and brooding— and his passionate relationship with songwriter Christina Schnieder of Locate S,1.

The new love we heard about on the last of Montreal record, White is Relic/Irrealis Mood, is settling. If that was the falling-in-love record, then this is the staying-in-love record. That was the easy part; this is the interesting part, the challenging part, the next chapter of Kevin Barnes’ autobiographical album streak, UR FUN

The public diary that started with of Montreal’s classic album Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? has continued into a growing string of increasingly personal works. On UR FUN, Barnes is more candid than ever, presenting. This ramped-up vulnerability has inspired Barnes to strip his stage persona of costumes and drag, just appearing as himself on recent tours for the first time in many years.

After several albums recorded with collaborators and various band members, Barnes opted to record this one completely alone. In his home studio in Athens, Georgia, Barnes isolated himself in creative hibernation, working obsessive 12-plus hour days arranging manic synth and drum machine maps on a computer screen with bouncy, melodic basslines, glam guitars and layered vocal harmonies. Inspired by albums like Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual and Janet Jackson’s Control, Barnes set out to make UR FUN into the kind of album where every song could be a single, complete with huge hooky choruses and nostalgic dance grooves. The result is an unstoppably fun album that could also pass for a carefully sequenced greatest-hits collection if taken out of context.

Tour Dates 
02/27 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre #
02/28 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel # 
02/29 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle #
03/01 – Richmond, VA @ Broadberry #
03/02 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club #
03/03 – Providence, RI @ Columbus Theatre #
03/04 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair #
03/05 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere #
03/06 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer #
03/07 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre %
03/08 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom %
03/09 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme %
03/10 – Madison, WI @ The Majestic Theatre %
03/11 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line %
03/12 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge %
03/13 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Woodward Theater %
03/14 – Nashville, TN @ Little Harpeth %
03/26 – Memphis, TN @ The Hi Tone $
03/27 – St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room $
03/28 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room $
03/29 – Englewood, CO @ The Gothic $
03/30 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge $
03/31 – Missoula, MT @ Top Hat $
04/01 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos $
04/02 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall $
04/03 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s $
04/04 – Berkeley, CA @ UC Theatre $
04/05 – Los Angeles, CA @ Regent Theatre $
04/06 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole $
04/07 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent $
04/08 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sister $
04/10 – Dallas, TX @ Trees $
04/11 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk $
04/12 – New Orleans, LA @ Howlin’ Wolf $

# w/ Lily’s Band
% w/ Lily and Horn Horse
$ w/ Locate S,1

of Montreal Links:

Altuz “Bitchin'” and “Altuz Baby”

Altuz Baby! showcases a backing beat and rap flow that are immediately at 100. A piano line tracing back to 1970s rock is married to a bold and confident flow that refreshes the 1990s NYC scene like no other. The high-water mark of Altuz Baby! hits right before the end, as the rapper effortlessly lays down some of the most complex lyrics we’ve heard.

Bitchin’ has a tremendous backing beat that allows Altuz’s flow to pop. The song is able to call back to the late–1990s with bits of Uncle Kracker and Nappy Roots. Altuz’s vocals call back to performers like Everlast and Puff Daddy here. Bitchin’ pops brightly in an era of mumble rappers, perfectly polished and ready for heavy rotation.

Altuz “Bitchin'” and “Altuz Baby” / Domain /

Nuke The Soup “Feed The Fire”

Nuke The Soup have just cut their Feed The Fire. This sizzling track defies all genre conventions. This means there are nods to reggae, funk, soul, and progressive music. Easy-going on its surface, there’s no denying that Nuke The Soup can create some heady instrumentation here. The track moves into Police-level of intricacy between the drums, bass, and guitar lines. Vocals drip with charisma here while a sizzling horn line and impassioned drums set listeners off into one of the most jam-packed minutes of music that we’ve ever heard laid down. We’re excited to hear more from Nuke the Soup in 2020.

Nuke The Soup “Feed The Fire” / Domain /

Snypa “That’s It”

That’s It has Snypa coming forth hard as head. With nods to Migos and Lil Wayne in his vocal flow, Snypa is given a further boost through a booming backing beat that is part trap, part Hypnotize Minds. A distorted, echoing drum beat cuts through the silence between Snypa’s bars, adding a hint of urgency to the composition. Wrapping up things with a nice bow at the 2:30 mark, Snypa makes a huge splash with his latest single. Straightforward, this wrecking ball destroys current rap and sets Snypa up at a lead position for what is to follow.

Snypa “That’s It” / Twitter /

Habitz “Cadillac Dippin”

Habitz goes back to the mid-1990s with his latest effort, Cadillac Dippin. With luxurious synths representing the backdrop, the soulful vox that issue forth shortly after delve into the funk of Zapp & Roger. Including Knitwit and Trazel into the mix, Habitz are able to refresh the style of a Too $hort or an E-40. The duo are able to approach their flows in a distinctly different fashion, ensuring that Cadillac Dippin stays as fresh three minutes in as it was when the effort started. The bouncy beat and deft flows encountered here make Cadillac Dippin a must-listen single for Q1 2020. Check out the video and let us know what you think.

Habitz “Cadillac Dippin” / Twitter /

bree “Broken”

Broken is a fun pop-rock track that marries confident vocals with straight-foward guitars and splashy drums. The back and forth between the insistent vox of bree and the sizzling guitar riffs that follow immediately afterward calls back to performers like Kelly Clarkson and Bif Naked. Broken takes a strong turn at the two-minute mark to allow the guitar, bass, and drum to craft one seriously heavy instrumental interlude. Bree’s latest track will easily find its way into fans’ brains and onto college rock and pop stations this winter / spring.

We took a deep dive into BREE’s Damn, I’m Being Me Again back at the end of November.

bree “Broken” Domain /

Broke Royals “Love & Tatters”

Love & Tatters look back to the synth-popo of the mid-1980s for inspiration during their new single, Love & Tatters. The alluring vocals, synth sequences, and hard-hitting choruses ensure that this track will have legs for days. The band reaches a higher plateau with a multi-part vocal harmony. Touching upon Walk The Moon and Dave Grohl’s vocal stylings, Broke Royals are able to bring fans in while crafting their own unique approach. Love & Tatters’s synth/drum interaction (most noticeable at the 2:35 mark) provides a nice change-up that amps up the momentum until the band closes up shop.

We’ve covered the Broke Royals a few times previously; take a look at our Saint Luxury,  HigherBad Chemicals, and Christmas Cookie Blues pieces to see our previous impressions.

Broke Royals “Love & Tatters” / Domain /

Raven Salve’ – CoCo Brown (Remix)

Raven Salve’s CoCo Brown is a sultry, slow R&B track that immediately showcases Salve’s vocals like no other. Raven is able to pull double duty during this track as she’s able to weave a cogent story alongside building up the fat beats and Childish Gambino-esque guitar lines playing in the background. The effort is timeless in its execution, drawing from the late 1990s and early oughts rhythmic style just as it broaches current and contemporary approaches. Tattooing the titular phrase throughout this cut, Salve’ ensures that fans will be singing along long after the song ceases to play.

Raven Salve’ – CoCo Brown (Remix) / Facebook /