Gaze right Into The Abyss
Hamilton’s local record store welcomes its community with open doors
The digitization of music has arguably made listening more accessible for us on-the-go university students. Entire albums can be downloaded in the span of a few seconds, and mixtapes can be compiled with the touch of a few buttons. But in this pursuit of high-speed consumption, we risk isolating ourselves from communal experiences in the real world. Musician and store owner Brad Germain hopes to change that.
In 2017, Germain founded Into The Abyss, a record store which takes its name from a Nietzsche quote, as a way to provide service for his community. Now situated on 267 King St East, the store is reinventing what it means to be your local vinyl supplier. Offering artisanal t-shirts and pins, and a variety of different live events, such as poetry nights and live concerts, Into The Abyss is dedicated to nurturing a gathering space for Hamiltonians.
“I’ve always wanted my shop to be a community spot. So many of the events and shows we have are just a way to make people feel like they’re a part of something, and I think that’s a really important thing to have in a city,” said Germain.
The store fosters learning as well, particularly among students. Among the crates of vinyl, Germain hopes Into The Abyss can act as a catalyst for expanding one’s musical knowledge — in fact, he thinks a visit to the store should be a prerequisite for graduating.
“You can learn a lot just by poking around in here. As a student, you go to school to learn and [I think] an extension of learning should be learning about the culture and cultural practices of the place where you are. Exposure to culture and community is a huge part of finding yourself,” said Germain.
Discovering who you are, what you like and what you dislike are major revelations many of us come to during our university years. While the process can take time, finding your true self is a reward worth waiting for. In the midst of this journey of self discovery, Into The Abyss wants to be your guide.
“If you’re coming from a different city or you’re coming to a new place for school, I think community becomes a very important thing. To have places that feel comfortable and safe for you to be at, where you can experience new things and meet new people. The store is really good for that here,” Germain expressed.
Into The Abyss is open from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12 P.M to 7 P.M on Wednesdays and Fridays, and 11 A.M to 5 P.M. on Saturdays. For the latest sales, shows and events, visit their Instagram account here.