Vera Grace marks the first LP on Deestricted Berlin-based label with EP “INFERNVM”. Check out our talk with the rising star from Amsterdam!

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Vera Grace marks the first LP on Deestricted’s imprint with “INFERNVM”. Dark, raw and rumbling sounds carve the visceral descent into the nine circles of Dante’s Inferno, exploring the conditions of the soul in the absence of light. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, the album explores themes of sin, punishment and catharsis across nine unrelenting techno cuts. Hailing from the Netherlands, Vera Grace is one of the Amsterdam electronic scene’s rising DJ and producers. Her signature sound – a gritty blend of industrial and entrancing soundscapes – commands attention. Her debut album – landing on the record label of storied Berlin club night Deestricted – is inspired by Dante’s “Inferno”, the first part of his epic poem, The Divine Comedy. The poem follows Dante as he journeys through Hell, guided by the ancient poet Virgil. Hell is depicted as nine concentric circles of torment located within the Earth, each circle representing a specific sin and its punishment. The sinners encounter increasingly severe sufferings, from the unbaptized and the lustful in the lighter outer circles to traitors in the icy innermost pit.

Welcome, Vera! So nice to have you here! Can you please introduce your new project to our audience? And could you tell us more about yourself and your steps in the industry?

Hello! Thank you for having me. Recently, I released my debut album “Infernvm,” a 9-track album inspired by the tale of Dante’s Inferno. Its sound is rough and industrial, yet also draws inspiration from hypnotic techno. I aimed to stay true to the core elements of techno, keeping a strong connection to groove, 909 drums, polyrhythms, and sound design.

To tell you a little bit about the background of my career: I began as a bedroom DJ in 2019, mostly playing slower, hypnotic, and more proper techno. Over time, I started exploring the harder, industrial side of techno, which eventually became my main focus. Two years of Covid provided lots of time for me to develop my sound. Eventually, I decided to audition for the Conservatorium, which led to two years of studying there. My time at the Conservatorium expanded my musical horizons, exposing me to genres I had never really heard before. I experimented with various styles, including Ambient, Breakbeat, IDM, Hip-Hop, and even Gabber. Exploring these diverse genres and being exposed to new sounds really influenced my signature sound as an artist.

In the past year, I’ve grown more and more interested towards slower, organic techno. My mentor, Vince Watson, really helped me find back my love for this techno.

At the same time, I was attending events such as 909 Festival and Vault Sessions, which even got me questioning my harder side of the genre. I thought to myself, how can I explore this new direction while still maintaining my artistic identity? “Infernvm” is the outcome of that exploration. I see it as a synthesis of everything I learned at the Conservatorium and as an intermediary step towards the music I am currently producing. I am currently working on an EP that takes yet another step back, featuring even slower BPMs and a more hypnotic and organic approach.

We’re excited to discuss your debut LP on Deestricted’s imprint. Can you share with us how your journey with the label unfolded and how you came to collaborate with them?

Deestricted has become like a second family to me. They discovered me at a very early stage in my career – I had only been DJing for about a year when they stumbled upon one of my livestreams during the Covid lockdown. Following the pandemic, they offered me my first gig in Berlin, granting me the closing slot in the second room of Anomalie. This opportunity led to more gigs with them, and eventually, they invited me to become a resident, which I excitedly said yes to.

During my first year as a resident, we agreed that I would produce an EP for them. However, as I delved into the creative process, the concept evolved into an album. It feels really good to release my debut album with Deestricted, especially as they recognized my potential at such an early stage of my career. They’re not just a collective to me; they’ve also become friends.

Your release draws significant inspiration from Dante’s “Inferno,” the initial segment of his renowned epic, The Divine Comedy. Can you elaborate on your connection with the writer and how his work has influenced yours?

At the Conservatorium, we also delved into more philosophical topics, which got me thinking in different ways to find inspiration in music. I was talking with a classmate about the topic of Dante Alighieri’s poem, Dante’s Inferno. Immediately, the poem sparked some ideas within me.

The journey that Dante undertakes through the circles intrigued me, and it gave rise to the concept of creating a musical journey that mirrors this progression, guiding the listener from the First to the Ninth circle.

Each circle in Dante’s Inferno is associated with a specific sin, giving me a unique challenge to convert the essence of each sin into sound. This aspect of the poem inspired me to explore different textures and sound design to evoke the atmosphere and emotions associated with each circle. Overall, Dante’s Inferno served as a really good source of inspiration, not only structurally, but also thematically, pushing me to experiment with music in ways I hadn’t tried before.

If you could tell us about your daily workflow, how do you usually get inspired and connect with music?

Throughout the week, I make it a habit to get up early as I find myself most productive in the mornings and afternoons. I will finally have my own studio soon, where I can fully immerse myself in my work every day of the week. Currently, I split my time between working in cafes around Amsterdam and my bedroom ‘’studio’’.

When it comes to brainstorming ideas for my music projects, I draw inspiration from various forms of art, poetry, and historical subjects. To create music, I listen to many music myself, including Electro, IDM, Synth Pop, Post-Punk, and Hip-hop.

When I listen to techno, I like to listen to older techno. I want to hear those unpolished drum machine sounds, imperfect tracks as if they were jammed live. Those analog sounds tickle something in my brain.

One aspect of older techno that particularly captivates me is how it teases. It builds tension with rides, claps, and more cymbals gradually entering, while the sound subtly pitches up and moves. Then unexpectedly, the kick comes back, releasing all the built-up tension in your body.

It’s this sensation that I strive to recreate in my own music, blending it with a modern twist while staying true to the genre’s origins.

When I find myself lacking inspiration, I find peace in nature, taking walks in the woods or along the beach to clear my mind. Additionally, attending clubs and events and discovering new artists often reignites my creative spark. Last weekend I saw Jeff Mills. Hearing this real techno, standing in the crowd and hearing the crowd go bananas when he’s ONLY playing with his 909 drum computer, gives me such a boost of inspiration and happiness.

If you could tell us your ten favorite tracks from this year so far? What would it be?

It’s a tough choice because there are so many great tracks out there! Here’s a selection, some I play, some I just really enjoy listening to:

  • Planetary Assault Systems – Desert Races
  • Umwelt – Captive Universe
  • Answer Code Request – Calm Down
  • UR Mad Mike – The Final Frontier (Nomadico Remix)
  • Robert Hoff – Tokamak
  • Fractions – Zero Ground
  • Luke Slater – Rip The Cut
  • Public Energy – Slumber
  • Quelza – Valkarr
  • Sakha – Physical Education Teacher

What does the future look like for Vera Grace?

I feel like I’m finally getting closer to discovering my true artistic identity, although I believe an artist’s journey of self-discovery is never-ending. Nevertheless, for now, I really want to focus more on this hypnotic side, bringing the crowd into a trance, both in slower and faster BPM’s, while bringing back the raw sounds of the past.

Recently, I’ve started doing hybrid performances, incorporating my TR8-S with the classic 909 drum kit. Currently, I’m working on an EP where I intend to showcase this slower, more focused side of my musical style. And I really hope to ignite other new generations with my passion for this classic techno sound.

Exciting opportunities lie ahead this year; I’ll be performing at Awakenings Upclose in May, which feels surreal to be a part of such a well-curated lineup. Additionally, in just two weeks, I’ll be closing with a 4 hour set at RSO for Deestricted!

Find her playing AWAKENINGS THIS YEAR!


Vera Grace



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Inses Vansteenkiste-Muylle

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