Connect with us


Vinyl Variety: Vera Grace Highlights Her Favourite Amsterdam Record Shops

Vera Grace joins us to discuss her two favourite Amsterdam-based record shops in our latest Vinyl Variety feature.



Vera Grace
Vera Grace

Intense doesn’t even begin to describe it when it comes to Vera Grace’s new album INFERNVM. One of Amsterdam’s most noteworthy and well-known DJs and producers, Grace’s debut album is an intoxicating mix of industrial beats and entrancing soundscapes. It’s a hard techno sound, unrelenting in all of the right ways. Across nine powerful tracks, the record explores themes of sin, punishment, and catharsis. It was released this past November via Deestricted, a label inspired by the storied Berlin club night of the same name.

Morality, the soul’s journey after death, and Dante’s Inferno were also powerful influences for Grace. The dark, driving beats are meant to mirror Dante’s descent into Hell. Each of the nine tracks represents one of the nine concentric circles of torment located within Earth, as they are described in the famous poem. Each circle represents a specific sin and punishment. The pulsating rhythms of INFERNVM are meant to conjure up considerations of the eternal dance of sin and consequence. Grace means for the album to compel listeners to confront the darker aspects of the human condition.

Joining us today is Grace herself for a new edition of Vinyl Variety, in which she shares with us some of her favourite record shops in her hometown of Amsterdam.

“Hello! I’m Vera, a Dutch techno DJ and producer from Amsterdam. I recently graduated from the Conservatorium and am thrilled to share the release of my debut album INFERNVM, on Deestricted both digital and on vinyl, which also brought me here!

“My journey into music began in 2018 when I visited Awakenings for the first time, where I absolutely fell in love with the genre of Techno. A few months later, I discovered Rush Hour Store in Amsterdam and immediately enjoyed finding the music I was so passionate about in a physical form. The first one I ever purchased was Dax J’s EP, The Invisible Man. Back then, I wasn’t actively DJing, but I enjoyed surrounding myself in music, holding physical music, and playing them in my bedroom as I relaxed or prepared for raves.

“Shortly after I started DJing, I began transforming my passion into a career. While I currently play digital and hybrid-live during gigs, I dedicated time at home to mastering my vinyl mixing skills. However, as I began my studies at the Conservatorium and got more weekend gigs, I had little to no time for practice. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m excited to get back into vinyl mixing again, aiming for a vinyl-only gig next year. In the meantime, my record collection continues to grow.

Vera Grace ‘INFERNVM’ album artwork

Vera Grace ‘INFERNVM’ album artwork

“When digging, I’m either looking for the authentic, raw techno sound from the ’90s, or DJ-oriented tracks featuring raw, deep, and groovy techno elements. It depends what my goal is. When selecting records for DJ sets, my listening approach differs from when I’m simply seeking good old gems to add to my collection or enjoy for pleasure.

“Now I must admit that I haven’t been record digging for a while. I ordered the records from Bandcamp lately, mostly because of time. But this was a great occasion to find back my love for it! I have three favourite stores in Amsterdam; Killacutz, Rush Hour Store, and Distortion Records. Unfortunately, the last one was closed when I arrived, but I managed to visit Killacutz and Rush Hour, and I came home with some great records!”

Vera Grace: Vinyl Variety image 1

Vera Grace: Vinyl Variety image 1

1. Killacutz Records (Google Maps)
Address: Nieuwe Nieuwstraat 21HS 1012 NG, Amsterdam, NETH
Phone: +31 20 223 0342

Hidden in a backstreet in the city center of Amsterdam, you’ll find one of the best record stores if you’re into electronic music. They offer a unique collection of hidden gems, spanning from the early days to the present, specializing in electronic music genres like House, Techno, UK Garage, D&B, and more.

The store manager is really passionate and eager to help you based on your musical preferences. In my quest for Public Energy’s Slumber from 1992, though hard to find so far, the manager offered some alternatives from that era.

The beginning of the ’90s was a time when Techno was still in its emergent stages of exploration and invention, I really love this oldskool sound. One of these discoveries was Beltram & Program 2’s The Omen, released on R&S Records. This track and its remix are a great representation of the early House Scene in the Netherlands.

Exploring further in the techno crate, I found some records that are more groovy, deep and hypnotic, just great for the kind of style I want to play for my vinyl sets. When you go here, open your mind and listen to artists and labels you don’t know yet, you will get surprised!

Vera Grace: Vinyl Variety image 2

Vera Grace: Vinyl Variety image 2

2. Rush Hour Store (Google Maps)
Address: Spuistraat 110, 1012 VA, Amsterdam, NETH
Phone: +31 20 427 4505

Rush Hour is not only a record store, but also a label. They sell their music in-store, along with a variety of other electronic music labels. The employees are really helpful and know their collection well. I’ve discovered an amazing LP by Richie Hawtin, which he produced in 1993. As I’m writing, I’m listening to one of the tracks from his album; a beautiful ambient piece called “Nitedrive.” The album features melodic, raw techno and ambient tracks. They sound unpolished, as if the tracks were live-recorded with a 303 and 909.

I also stumbled upon some gems from Tresor Records by artists like Surgeon. If you’re in search of authentic techno from the ’90s, this is definitely the right place. But, they also have a fantastic selection of Reggae, House Music, and more.

I arrived home happy, having found both some great DJ-focused records and some old-school records for my collection. From top left to down right:

Alexander K. Katz & Kay D. SchmidtWestwood (Form Recordings)
Silent ServantIn Memoriam (Tresor Records)
Beltram & Program 2The Omen (R&S Records)
Dryad – 2S2W (Southern Lights)
CravoEternal Paradox (SK_Eleven)
Fuse (Richie Hawtin) – Dimension Intrusion (Plus 8 Records)

Vera Grace: Vinyl Variety image 3

Vera Grace: Vinyl Variety image 3

INFERNVM Track Listing:

1. The First Circle
2. The Second Circle
3. The Third Circle
4. The Fourth Circle
5. The Fifth Circle
6. The Sixth Circle
7. The Seventh Circle
8. The Eighth Circle
9. The Ninth Circle

Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada's (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve of the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.