giant 90s alt/indie/etc playlist

giant 90s alt/indie/etc playlist


Meet Aroon, a Cali native.
In my day job I'm an intellectual property / patent attorney. I've helped patent inventions for Apple, Twitter, and a bunch of other companies around the Silicon Valley world. In my free time, I'm a solo musician who records under the names Vapor Lanes and Winter Lanterns. I use elaborate synths and computer software to make complex, abstract electronic music.


37 - Berkeley, California


What is the soundtrack to your life?

Lately, it's the album Velocity : Design : Comfort by a band called Sweet Trip. I had never heard of the band nor album until Spotify's recommendation algorithm threw it my way last year, and I was instantly hooked. It's a long, challenging album packed with hundreds of ideas, and it was on a musical wavelength in 2003 that no one else was pursuing until a decade later. It's my favorite album of the 00's. It's available to stream it on Bandcamp, and my favorite track is "International".


What is the most annoying song in the world?

That's easy. "Butterfly" by Crazy Town is objectively the worst song ever made by humans. The master recording of it should be catapulted into the sun.


What’s more important to you? Music; or Lyrics? Why?

For me, lyrics are usually the least interesting thing about a piece of music. Music can (and should) communicate very complex and personal emotions and ideas that we don't have the words to articulate. I sometimes even prefer music where the vocals are unintelligible or in a foreign language so that they don't circumscribe the meaning of a piece for me. I can only think of a few artists, like Joanna Newsom, where I'm equally interested in the music and the lyrics because they intertwine around each other beautifully.


Favorite artist? 

Stereolab. They're a crazy English-French avant-pop band that made some of the most brilliant, catchy, and stylish albums of the 90s. I think I've listened to them more than any other band in existence, they're always perfect to regulate my moods and put me in an uplifted, energetic frame of mind. I'm thrilled that they've reunited and will be playing some shows this year. I recommend Emperor Tomato Ketchup to those who haven't listened yet and want to start somewhere.


If you had the chance to interview an artist, who would it be? (Dead or alive)

Probably Scott Walker, who passed away a few weeks ago, RIP. He was a true musical genius who walked among us. Walker recorded albums that felt like a gut-punch and which were thoroughly haunted by the past, present, and future of fascist ideology in Europe and America. Not many people have managed to parse the complex symbology around encroaching fascism that he employed in albums like The Drift, and I haven't read any interviews that really connect with him on that subject. He was prescient in a lot of ways, and what he had to say has proven especially relevant over the last few years.


Last concert?

I don't make it out to many concerts these days since I have a one-year-old baby at home, but I recently enjoyed seeing Ola Bilińska, a Polish singer and multi-instrumentalist who performs folk, chamber, and electronic pieces steeped in historical and cultural context. Part of the concert was her and her band performing interpretations of pre-war Yiddish children's folk songs, which were simply stunning.