Review: Combichrist – 'This Is Where Death Begins'

COMBICHRIST 'This Is Where Death Begins' OUT OF LINE

Review: Various Artists – 'Beat:Cancer: V3'


Review: Katatonia – 'The Fall Of Hearts'


Review: Rhombus – 'Purity and Perversion'

RHOMBUS 'Purity and Perversion' MODELS OWN RECORDS

Review: Angelspit – 'Cult Of Fake'


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Editorial: December, 2016

It's that time of year again, and I'm guessing that since you're reading this you survived Krampusnacht relatively unscathed. Good for you. As for me the day job is keeping me suitably busy to have slowed my output for Intravenous Magazine down for much longer than I had anticipated. Luckily at this time of year I can console myself with mulled wine and force-feed myself lebkuchen until I burst. I APOLOGISE FOR NOTHING!

But if Christmas is not your thing, fear not loyal readers for we have our annual treat lined up and ready to be unleashed. For those of you new to Intravenous Magazine you may have noticed we like to do a little free compilation to mark our birthday, and New Years Day 2017 is no exception. We have a fantastic line-up of bands covering a range of genres, some new, some established, but all with something to offer.

As always the download will be accompanied by cover art and an A4 PDF booklet with info and links for all the bands. As always we can't do these things without the support of the bands and labels in the scene so if you find something you like, why not spend that Christmas money on a CD or two from their own site?

The first of January marks four years of Intravenous Magazine since I decided to launch it to carry on the – what I thought was fairly decent – work I had been doing for Dominion Magazine. To be honest I didn't think it would take off and would just quietly fizzle out. And fast forward to the end of 2016 and I'll be damned if I let this ship sink any time soon. With that in mind I have to acknowledge that I can't keep things going as they are and so from January onwards I will be extending some invitations out to new reviewers and columnists and inject a bit more activity into the site.

Other things to look forward to – the Intravenous top albums of 2016 will be on its way as usual next month, also I'll be inviting some respected DJs and artists to contribute special mixes to our Mixcloud account. There is life in this thing yet.

But that's it from me. A short but sweet send off to a strange year – we lost so many greats, yet from a personal standpoint it has been one of positive growth and fulfilment. I hope you'll join us in 2017.

Finally, if you haven't already got them, go get our three download compilations from our bandcamp – so much free music! What the hell are you waiting for?!

And as always make sure you have these links in your favourites:

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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Review: Stereo Juggernaut – 'Shutdown!'


London electro-rockers Stereo Juggernaut hit back with their latest EP, and first release on new label Armalyte Industries, 'Shutdown!'. Full of piss and vinegar as well as some pretty sweet tunes the band channel acts like Orgy, Dope, Combichrist, and Cubanate through their frenetic and dance-friendly sound. Part alternative rock, part hard dance the band go out of their way to tick a lot of boxes.

The EP starts as it means to go on with the riotous 'Devoid' on point as it schizophrenically shifts between hard guitar riffs and hard synth leads framing dance rhythms and punctuated by snarling punk vocals. The likes of 'Empty Eyes', 'Boats & Ladders', and 'Shutdown!' in particular carry this formula on with ease, and the EP progresses at breakneck speed as a result. The sound may be quite fresh and modern with the balance favouring catchy hooks to a degree. But there is enough attitude and rawness to the band's sound to give the band an appeal that will find approval with long-time hardened industrial rock fans.

Production-wise the band keeps the dance synths high in the mix for a big melodic injection they can push hard in the choruses. But surrounding that is a very organic and raw alternative rock core that remains forceful and really is the driving force behind the tracks. They keep the dirty, gritty edge but it doesn't simply become background noise but nicely juxtaposes with the strong melodies for a well-rounded sound.

They may still be a relatively new name, but Stereo Juggernaut have been working hard, paying their dues and honing their sound. And the result is pretty impressive. 'Shutdown!' is a slick anthemic release befitting these dark dystopian days. It has fire and it has substance. It is safe to say that this will be a band to keep an eye on.  

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Monday, 5 December 2016

Interview: Jim Smallman [Progress Wrestling]

This. Is. Progress...

Rob Brazier Photography

“We might not be the biggest but I certainly think that we're the best - but then again, I am biased! It feels excellent to be as acclaimed as we are. Bear in mind I'm just a fan who happens to own a wrestling company with his mates.”

This may be a bit of a departure for Intravenous Magazine, but I think you'll agree that there is a method to our madness. Alternative culture is about embracing diversity, passion and devotion to sounds, ideas, and styles not fully (or if ever) embraced by the mainstream. And professional wrestling is one such thing that ticks all of those boxes.

It's a world that isn't far removed from the music scene with the WWE's and Metallica's of the world selling out stadiums around the world, right down to the local acts and promotions putting on shows in clubs in their local areas.

But one company that has taken the UK, and infact parts of the world by storm over the past few year's is London-based promotion Progress Wrestling. With a punk rock atmosphere and penchant for innovation, it captures the spirit of the likes of ECW, filtering through a very British DIY ethic. And the results have been a boon for wrestling fans in the UK.

We caught up with one of the promotions founders, Jim Smallman to talk about the promotions near unstoppable rise, the state of pro-wrestling today, and standing out.

Intravenous Magazine: First of all, what makes a person decide to start a pro-wrestling promotion?

Jim Smallman: Well, we'd be fans for ages. But for us, it was to see if we could do it. Me and Jon (Briley, one of the other co-owners) were sat in our flat during the Edinburgh Fringe (as he was my agent at the time) and decided to have a go. Well, he suggested it whilst we were watching a PWG DVD. We thought it would be a fun, if costly, hobby.

IVM: Where do you begin to go about it and how hard was it to get off the ground?

JS: It was pretty difficult, even with Jon having a ton of experience of organising comedy tours and the like. We had to learn everything and ask a lot of people a lot of questions. Like "how do you get a wrestling ring?" Stuff that seems so second nature now was completely new to us when we started out. And then for the first year or so we made zero money. So it wasn't as easy a birth as you might think, even if we've never had a show that hasn't sold out.

IVM: You wear many hats with Progress as an announcer, promoter, and writer – Where does Progress end and real life begin for you these days?

JS: Progress is my life. In all seriousness, most of the day to day promotion stuff is done by Jon. Creative is handled by all three of us, and I don't think I'm really a ring announcer. I'm a comedian who gets to say the names of some wrestlers before their matches. But I do spend most of my time thinking about Progress.

IVM: What is the ethos behind Progress Wrestling as a promotion?

JS: We wanted to put on shows that we'd want to watch as fans, and also help develop a community of like-minded people. I'm really into punk music and love the ethos behind anything DIY and inclusive, so we've always aimed for that kind of vibe.

IVM: What were the thought processes behind having the Progress championship as a staff (now a belt), and shields for the tag titles?

JS: Just to be different. Anyone can start a wrestling promotion. Not everyone can start one that stands out. We've always stood out.

IVM: Progress alumni can now be seen wrestling for companies such as WWE, ROH, TNA, as well as in Japan how has this helped, or perhaps hindered Progress?

JS: It's helped us. Every time we lose someone to WWE there's someone else who knows it's their time to step into the spotlight. We never really lose people to the other companies - they all still work for us, just not at every show. Besides, when Tommy End and Jack Gallagher headed for WWE they were good enough to help highlight us on, which is pretty sweet and only helps us be seen as a successful independent promotion that helps nurture talent.

IVM: You started at the Islington Garage, and have quickly moved to The Electric Ballroom, infiltrated the hallowed Brixton Academy, and have even been a part of Download Festival – can the rooms only keep getting bigger?.

JS: There's a glass ceiling to independent wrestling attendance figures. We sold 2500 tickets for Brixton, but we can't do that every month. Selling 700 tickets every month (sometimes twice a month) is a mind boggling achievement as it is, which I think people sometimes forget. It's super hard to find a venue bigger than Brixton that would suit us, as well - regardless of if we'd fill it. We're happy where we are.

IVM: How would you describe a typical Progress show?

JS: Loud, hard-hitting, fun. It's our job to send everyone home happy from our shows, so we give them as much varied entertainment as they can enjoy. And if you're in the crowd, it's part ECW Arena, part away end at the football and part punk gig.

IVM: The documentary film 'This.Is.Progress' premiered recently and is now available to view through the Demand.Progress. service – how has the reception been to this so far and can we expect more of these documentaries in the future?

JS: Well, we didn't make the documentary ourselves. It was made by Elixir Media and I believe that they're looking at crowdfunding to make a longer version of the documentary. The current one you can view is 20 minutes long but they've already shot loads of footage. Hopefully that will lead to something more, but again, it's not down to us.

IVM: It is safe to say that Progress is one of the top independent wrestling companies in the UK today, no small feat when there are over 100 active promotions, how does that feel?

JS: We might not be the biggest but I certainly think that we're the best - but then again, I am biased! It feels excellent to be as acclaimed as we are. Bear in mind I'm just a fan who happens to own a wrestling company with his mates. When fans rave about what we do it still means the world to me.

IVM: What has been your proudest moment so far with Progress and why?

JS: The very beginning of the Brixton show was really awesome for me, 2500 people chanting my name and my Dad and Sister in the audience (who don't get my love of wrestling) and my wife and at the time 4 week old son by the side of the stage. That was pretty mind blowing. I also rank the whole Jimmy Havoc vs Progress storyline is up there with any stand-up that I've created in my "other" career.

IVM: Where do you see British professional wrestling in five / ten years time?

JS: It won't be as hot as it is right now, because there are always peaks and troughs. For the great promoters out there like ICW, Rev Pro, Southside, Fight Club Pro, Futureshock, Attack and so on, there will be unscrupulous people who think there's an easy few quid to be made and that'll hurt the industry. Hopefully we'll still be around as we've tried to build on a foundation of using British talent and living within our means!

IVM: Does British wrestling need more prominent TV coverage in order to push it to the next level, or is the internet filling in the gaps these days?

JS: Nope. TV doesn't have the effect that it did a couple of decades ago. We can be in control of our own content with, and WWE are leading the way with their network. The way everyone consumes media has changed and the fabled television deal now makes no difference at all.

Rob Brazier Photography

IVM: Who do you consider to be some of the top British talent around today?

JS: Luckily, everyone that we use at our shows! Pete Dunne is our current champion and is about to take over the world, then you have guys like Zack Sabre Jr, Will Ospreay and Marty Scurll who already have. Jimmy Havoc is one of the very best characters in the world, then you have guys like Trent Seven, Tyler Bate, Morgan Webster, Mark Andrews... I could go on and on. And women's wrestling is great too - Jinny, Dahlia Black, Nixon Newell.

IVM: With the feel of a raucous punk rock gig at Progress events, do you consider Wrestling fans to be a subculture unto themselves?

JS: I always know that if someone likes wrestling then I'm probably going to get on well with them. At our shows you can pretty much guarantee that you'll meet someone who likes wrestling, the same music or comic books or video games as you. Being a wrestling fan is the new rock and roll. Or something.

IVM: What advice would you give to someone looking to set up a professional wrestling promotion, or become a wrestler?

JS: Setting up a promotion: Save up a lot of money, don't tread on the toes of other promotions and do things right. Think about what an audience would like to see rather than what YOU want to see. And don't book yourself as champion, for the love of god.

Becoming a wrestler: Find a good school, train a lot, go to the gym every day, expect to be in pain and broke, listen to advice from every veteran who will give you their time and when you've made your debit, wrestle EVERYWHERE.

IVM: 2016 has been a whirlwind year for Progress – what do you have in store for 2017?

JS: So many more shows. Camden, Brixton, Manchester, Birmingham, Germany, Orlando, a three day SSS16 tournament... it'll be busy. And we've already started planning some awesome surprises.

IVM: Finally, is there anything you'd like to add/plug?

JS: I'm on Twitter at @jimsmallman. Company stuff: Tickets and merchandise and news via, watch all our shows for $5 via and follow us on Twitter via @thisis_progress.

You can watch all of Progress Wrestling's shows on demand at, and for ticket and show information, please check out the Progress Wrestling website at

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Friday, 2 December 2016

Review: The State – 'Public Service Announcement'

'Public Service Announcement'

The State continue a fine tradition of gritty minimalistic industrial rock that harks back to the days of of post-punk experimentation technophobic paranoia combining into a heady mix of dark subject matter and compelling yet aggressive sounds. The band's latest single – 'Public Service Announcement' – is a claustrophobic backlash against the rising tide of political instability in the west.

The lone track on this release is a dark yet anthemic album of steady dance-friendly martial beats, snarling punk vocals, gritty guitars and enticing electronics. It harks back to the manic experimentation of Killing Joke and the dark paranoia of Sulpher. It's raw, angry, and menacing industrial rock.

The production reflects the atmosphere nicely. Low-fi, but not low quality. It sounds like a forbidden transmission coming in from a pirate radio station to spread dissenting views. It's nice and gritty where it needs it, but the electronics and guitars are nicely balanced and the beats are always discernible and infectiously groovy throughout.

This is a really nice slice of British industrial rock. Infused with an undeniably catchy post-punk vibe and slabs of menace it is an intelligent and topical offering that highlights a lot of talent deserving of credit. Hopefully we'll see a full-length follow-up from The State sooner rather than later.  

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Wednesday, 30 November 2016


One of the things which the passing of the Reagan/Thatcher era took from popular culture was the pervasive presence of alternative subcultures in dystopian fiction. Virtually every thriller, sci-fi or horror movie from the onset of punk until the early '90s was soaked in alternative fashion and featured a shifting casts of mohawked outcasts, shadow-dwelling vamps and intimidating punk rockers – from 'Bladerunner's cyberpunk operatics to the street gangs of 'Escape from New York' and the chain-wielding bikers of 'Streets of Fire'; these mutated manifestations of youth culture were either predicted to spraypaint a bleak future with neon pink and studded leather or else describe a present that already was, as every average gritty cop drama of the mid-'80s would feature the protagonist in some seedy new wave club featuring glowering skinheads and spike-collared vixens. And then...nothing. So, what happened?

The first factor in this equation was the explosive effect of punk fashion on all televisual media. Not only was it the first wave of youth culture to have a confrontational and nihilistic attitude towards the boomer generation, it was also so vague as to be universally fascinating and exploitable to Hollywood; so soon the basic elements of punk culture were appearing in films such as 'Taxi Driver' and the first wave of punksploitation movies were spawned. A situation quickly arose where essentially any director who wanted add a sense of 'edge' to their films could simply rip off the fashions at CBGBs or the Blitz.

Apocalyptic and dystopian fictions were also all the rage in the 1980s. The re-heated Cold War rhetoric, economic collapse and crime wave of Reagan's USA fed into a deeply hysterical pessimism that pervaded film and TV during the decade, and dystopia was fashionable once again; and so naturally if you believed modern society (populated by alienated youth/Generation X/street punks and the miscellaneous forms of the '80s idea of juvenile delinquents) was on a slide towards a dark future of pre-apocalyptic ultra-urban techno-misery then it makes perfect sense that such a world would also be populated by the same cultures, mutated into technofied forms (which was of course a factor in the birth of what became cyberpunk). So as this cultural tension gave way to a cultural complacency in the early '90s these tropes became less and less fashionable.

But maybe the key factor was how our collective understanding of cities has changed over the past 30 years. In the gloomy, nocturnal urban spaces of these films the characters were always aware of the different identities of the streets and the collectives and subcultures that inhabited them, a feeling of territory and the understanding of space. The Battery is owned by the Bombers; the Richmond likes rock & roll; the differing gangs of New York carve up the boroughs in 'The Warriors'; and each space has it's own identity. Even punks and goths inhabited their own corners of the city. But today's cities are sterilised, gentrified, commercial and blanded out by adverts and chain stores – no one really believes they will be crawling with street punks in 27 years as much as anyone can believe that today's subcultures are anything more than atomised and interchangeable.

So the challenge must be to reclaim our cities as the diverse homes of urban subcultures, as places for micro-communities to form and resist the creeping rise of rents and malls. Alternative spaces appear to be much more resilient in fiction than in reality, but they can still be built and defended.

And we don't even need our cities to become high-rise prisons in a post-nuclear wasteland to do it.

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Review: Marc Heal – 'The Hum'

'The Hum'

Considering Marc Heal's contributions to industrial rock include influential acts such as Cubanate, Pig and Pigface it is hard to believe that 2016 marks the release of his first solo album (discounting his work as MC Lord Of The Flies) in 'The Hum'. But if any album was worth the wait it is this one. Famed for blending rock guitars with techno electronics, Heal's reputation will undoubtedly bring some preconceived notions about how this album will sound. And while he does embrace his signature sound to an extent, Heal is more than happy to confound expectations as well.

Songs such as 'Tienanmen', 'Adult Fiction', 'Model Citizen', 'Johnny Was an Oilman', 'Monoxide', and 'Faithful Machinery' are prime examples of the classic blend of bombastic beats, infectious dance synths, searing guitar riffs, framing gritty vocals, and narrative lyrics that drive the distilled anxiety of the Zeitgeist into tense and frantic

While the likes of 'Katrina's House', 'The Abandoned Junkshop', and 'Wounded Dog' explore slower and dare is say, jazzier paths the yield darker and more sinister results. It's a track list that is unified in its direction and purpose. Rather than just a collection of songs, Heal presents a full album that takes the listener on a journey that is compelling from the beginning and until the end.

The production is just as strong as the songwriting and performances. There is the dark grittiness of good industrial rock present throughout. But there is also that big impactful element that recalls the likes of Gary Numan and Nine Inch Nails. It's a fantastic blend of aggression and melody that is crafted by what can only be described as an expert hand.

'The Hum' is a brilliant album. It's dark topical narratives, gritty snarled vocals, and sumptuous blend of guitars, synths and beats are a masterclass in how high industrial rock can aim. Heal could have easily rested on the laurels of past glories and given us more of the same. But instead he has pushed his abilities as a songwriter, performer and producer. And it has yielded one of the best albums of the year, and possibly his career so far.  

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Review: KPT – 'BLK EYE'


US electronic producer KPT (pronounced) released a stunning album only last November in the form of 'Alive By Machines', a short but sharp album that blended the darker more underground sounds of darkwave, industrial, and ebm with attention-grabbing edm and modern techno reminiscent of Diamond Version, Aphex Twin, and Blush Response. Fast-forward one year and the release of 'Blk Eye', a collection of singles remixed and remastered for good measure is here to keep us going until the next full release.

If you weren't told before hand this was a collection of singles, you would be none the wiser. While the album doesn't feel as thematically unified as 'Alive By Machines' the changes KPT has kept everything in line and singular in focus. Songs such as 'Fake', 'Something Went Wrong', 'Gift', 'Innermost', and 'Abandon' in particular show a steady progression and greater balance between dark experimentalism and infectious minimalism.

Production-wise the songs sound like they were recorded in one sitting, never-mind over the course of a few years. The skilful hand behind the desk has bridged the gaps between the songs and collated them into a more satisfying whole. There is a playfulness to the experimental nature of this recording, and in places it is less self-assured than others, but it has been executed at every step of the way to the highest quality.

KPT is a challenging act. One that likes to try and confound rules regarding melody and rhythm, but nonetheless even a stop-gap collection of singles is still a compelling listen. 'Blk Eye' is a tasty and satisfying release, but one that on the surface still lacks that rounded out vision of a full-length album release, and hopefully with these tracks collected, contextualised and released KPT will be back sooner rather than later with the follow-up to 'Alive By Machines'.  

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Review: v01d – 'Greeted As Liberators'

'Greeted As Liberators'

Toronto-based industrial producer Joe Byer, AKA v01d has been taking his time in writing the sophomore offering to his 2009 album '
This Is Not A False Alarm Anymore'. But after seven years the results of his labours are unveiled in the form of 'Greeted As Liberators' a master-class in old school techno meets industrial rock/metal. Odd time signatures, vocoders, searing guitars and infectious synth leads contort and morph around each other for a unique take on the fundamentals that made industrial rock in the late 80s and early 90s so damn exciting.

Tracks such as 'All Of The Rage', 'Abhor A Vacuum', 'Veils Will Fall', 'Walk It Back', 'Wave After Wave' and, 'The Sun Is Late' evoke the likes of 'The Fragile' era Nine Inch Nails meets revered names such as Pig, Pop Will Eat Itself, Front 242, and The Young Gods. It is a wonderful and intelligent blend of styles and genres that doesn't try to recreate the past glories of the genre. Instead it goes where it wants to, both sonically and thematically, challenging the listener and confounding the expectations that have once again built up around the revival of the industrial rock scene.

Production-wise, there may be nods to those classic bands but it is a very 21
st century sounding album. It is gritty and experimental in places yes. There may be minimalistic beats and lots of feedback and distortion when it is needed. But it fresh, clean, and can easily compete with anything in the genre today.

'Greeted As Liberators' may be a short album by today's standards, but it packs a major punch. Byer has taken his time and it shows in a good way. The songs are well written, constructed and performed with great attention to detail throughout. Yet the album isn't over produced, it has the grit and grime a good industrial rock album should have, while maintaining both the more experimental and melodic elements in equal measure. It may have been a long time coming, but this was an album worth the wait.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Introducing... Neon Shudder

Name of band: Neon Shudder
Members: One
Year formed: 2013
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA

“To see people actually diving in and reading the story and saying they liked this character or that twist is a big deal for me. Knowing people are excited about something I created gives me huge drive to continue doing this.”

NEON SHUDDER is the moniker for Philadelphia area producer jhm. His music styles range from industrial to synthwave to ambient with hints of other influences including jazz and funk. Currently neon shudder is focused around the "Cadence" series of concept albums/novellas including 2016's "Cadence" and the upcoming followup "Sons of Seraph."

Intravenous Magazine: Who are you and how did the band/project come to be formed?

I've been making music for a long time. In 2013 I wanted to finally put out some kind of release for music around a central theme. At the time I was heavily into cyberpunk and wanted to make music that gave off Blade Runner or Deus Ex vibes. I put out a small EP on bandcamp and was pleasantly surprised that people enjoyed it so I continued making music under this name.

IVM: How would you describe your sound/style, and how did you arrive at it?

I get called synthwave a lot but that's just one style that falls under the umbrella of what I do. I'm going a lot of directions including industrial and ambient, and even put out some weird, dark electronic jazzy songs. I was always a fan of that kind of sound so it was a no-brainer that it was what I wanted to do.

IVM: Who and what are your primary influences both musical and non-musical?

Buck-Tick, Android Lust, Michael McCann's work for Deus Ex, Yoko Kanno, Ed Harrison, and Nobuo Uematsu musically. William Gibson's writing, Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex, Cowboy Bebop are some of the non-musical influence for this project.

IVM: Do you perform live and if so where can we see you perform in the near future?

There are currently no plans for neon shudder live, but I wouldn't rule it out.

IVM: What is your current release and where is it available from?

I have two albums that came out this year at - one is the gothy industrial release 'OMENS II' and the other is my first cyberpunk concept album 'Cadence.'

IVM: What have been the highlights of your career so far?

I'd have to say it's people getting genuinely excited about my concept album series. To see people actually diving in and reading the story and saying they liked this character or that twist is a big deal for me. Knowing people are excited about something I created gives me huge drive to continue doing this.

IVM: What are your plans for the future?
I plan on releasing one more album to complete the 'Cadence' trilogy, and then I'll be moving on to experimenting more with my sound on new EPs and albums.

IVM: Finally, is there anything that you would like to add?

Almost all of my music (save for concept albums) is on bandcamp free/pay what you want, so give it a shot!

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What Matters is the Work - Embracing Your Self

Sacred Feminine, by Cristina McAllister

I read an article recently about the women who made themselves androgynous, or used an undefined-gender of a name, to achieve success. The article examined this, and mentioned their conscious withdrawal of their femininity in order to succeed.

And it got me thinking. It got me thinking of my own uber-use of my femininity in my work, and of other women artists who do the same, all fields of art confounded, and of the XXIst century.

I stand, here and now, as witness of the many aspects, or archetypes, of women in arts, and as we come closer to 2017, I wonder what the future holds for us, and for little girls all over the world.

I examine the models these little girls have, and I come to the conclusion that every lady essentially marches to the beat of her own drum, and that this, beyond anything else, is what we need to get in these little girls' heads.

As spiritual beings given bodies for us to live our human experience, what matters is that we cherish this temple we are given to live in.

Humans come in all shapes, colours and sizes, and our first happy place should be in our bodies.
It is of utmost importance to embrace who we are and what we look like. If you're not happy with what you see in the mirror, do whatcha gotta do to fix it, but make sure you're doing it for yourself.
And then, regardless of and beyond that, know solidly, indestructibly, that what matters even more is that you love what you are inside. Love everything that you are, love what you can do, love your potential as a human being.

If you're going for the gender-bending identity, do it because you want to. If your animus needs release, and you need its release, go for it and make it shine. Just make sure, again, that you're doing it for yourself, because if there's one thing we shouldn't be afraid of anymore, as women in the XXIst century, it's to be our Selves.

Now, the Athena in us will meticulously strategise, and has, since the dawn on time, as her nature intended. The strategist will help us develop our plans by gathering the appropriate elements and information we need to act. An appropriate example is that of J.K. Rowling, who was stated in the article. She used her initials, not her full first name, to get published, knowing the perspective on her work would be different. Long before her, there was George Sand, who lived in a more opressive time for women who sought out careers in the arts. She used a man's name for her work to be published.

Would these women's success have been otherwise, had they used their full, real names, when submitting their work? One can only muse upon alternate possibilities.

Regardless of that, it took only the release of the first Harry Potter novel for the people of the entire world to know that J.K Rowling was indeed a woman, and that they most certainly wanted more of what this woman had to create, and offer.

A strategic choice.

Now, I am not enough of a writer to form a definite statement on the reality of the writing world, so I couldn't come to a clear conclusion on this particular matter. Does a woman's full name on a manuscript truly make a difference in the perspective of editors when they read it, or does the focus stop at the content?
I cannot answer this, but what I can say is that it shouldn't.

I am a musician though, and a performer, and I study the archetypes portrayed by my predecessors and my contemporaries. I can see the clear distinction between, say, Annie Lenox and Madonna. Ultimately, both of these women have had incredible careers, all the while portraying aspects of women at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Would the outcome of their careers have been otherwise had they presented themselves differently?
One can only muse on alternate possibilities.

As performers, we show our face, our body. We cannot pretend not to be women, even if it's just for a little while. What matters is that we embrace who we are and that we take pride in the face we show to the world. And what matters beyond that is that we do not fear the response of neither men nor of other women. Sometimes I can't believe we're in 2016, in the XXIst century, and that women who've chosen to embrace and expose their femininity are still feared, disregarded, shunned or shamed by men and by other women. The fact that this is a reality in our society shows a clear, underlying problem at the core of humanity, coming down to self-confidence, and perspective.

For the focus, ultimately, in all fields, should be on the woman's work. And if part of her work is her presentation of her self as this uber-femme, then it should be seen as part of her work as well.

Would the democrats have won the recent US elections had a man ran for presidency, and not a woman? One can only muse on alternate possibilities.

The fact remains that this is the XXIst century, and it's high time for little girls everywhere to be taught that they can be and do anything they want, and present themselves however they damn well want.

And it's high time for us all to stop judging a book, or an album, by its cover.
What matters are the words. What matters is the music.
What matters is the work.

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