D//E Guest Post: HRVSTMN Inspirations / Kindred Spirits // A Playlist by Steve Von Till

Steve Von Till, performing as Harvestman, has curated a playlist for Destroy//Exist, showcasing the inspirations behind his new album, Triptych Part One. The album is out on April 24th, 2024, through Neurot Recordings.

I hope you aren’t busy for the next six and a half hours.

This mix represents sounds that have both inspired me and that I feel share a kinship with the sonic explorations I embark on with my Harvestman project. As a kid, I remember the impact of hearing “stereo” for the first time and recognizing I had an affinity for fuzz guitars, delay effects and the more experimental sounds used in rock music on FM radio (Hendrix, Pink Floyd). The strange analog synth sounds on public television shows (BBC Radio Workshop) imprinted with resonance.

Parallel to my predisposition for the aggressive guitar music of punk and metal of my teen years was a fascination with the cosmic sounds of Tangerine Dream, Hawkwind, and some of the less tepid “new age” music on the Hearts of Space radio show on Sunday nights.. This was the same time I got into home recording, starting with bouncing between my home stereo tape player and a Panasonic table top cassette recorder, finally graduating to a cassette 4-Track recorder. I played with different ways of generating strange sounds from a broken wah pedal, banging on the spring reverb in my guitar amp, and flipping the tape backwards. These innocent experiments planted seeds which I would later realize were completely valid ways of making music.

After high school I met other sound freaks, haunted the record stacks in the university library, and tuned into the local community radio station that broadened my horizons to underground sounds both new and obscure and those already gone. This fertile period introduced me to so many of my most cherished artists (Eno, Throbbing Gristle, Coil, Loop, Fairport Convention, Robert Fripp, Sandy Denny, etc) as well as deep dives into an endless array of different genres, dub, Indian Classical, drone, experimental, traditional music of Europe, Asia, and Africa. All of these sounds continue to inspire and lead me down endless rabbit holes to discovering both new artists and sounds from the past that are new to me.

Photo by Niels Verwijk

Steve Von Till
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