Lem creates light, elegant, poignant, ethereal, and soulful electronic music. His music is softly cool like the thin water rolling over the wet sand as the wave moves back into the ocean. Hailing from Fukuoka (Japan), he was born under the name Goro Tanaka. Although he is not well known outside of his home country, people may discover Lem if they are lucky enough to stumble on someone playing his music. Other fans may have to seek out his work. Lem describes his art as electronic folk music (or '€œFolktronica'€). Like a theme for an enlightening dream, Lem'€™s music is beautifully subtle and elegantly romantic.

Finderpop / Cassette Vision Label released Lem'€™s debut EP, '€œLoosing Summer Set'€. The Japanese-based label is home to other unique artists like Apartment, Mountainbook, and Ajisaikippu-de. Independent in both business and spirit, Finderpop / Cassette Vision Label started out releasing CD-Rs. These days, they have a handful of artists, a budding following, and a catalogue of official CDs & DVDs. The label'€™s growth was fueled by the unique quality of the music.

In 2005, Lem released his first full-length CD titled '€œPut A Lem In Your Pocket'€. The beautifully romantic songs possess hushed vocals and subtle melodies. The album is perfect theme music for Sunday mornings, summer afternoons, or tender encounters deep within the night. Instead of attacking the listener, Lem'€™s music slowly rolls around the listener like a pleasant aroma. The opening track, '€œFrom Small Lem'€™s Space'€ includes the album'€™s thickest drum track (which still may be considered soft to the typical listener). The cool ease of the hip-hop groove makes the song instantly appealing. The inviting intro track also perfectly sets a mood for the LP. '€œStory Of Surf For Young People'€ enchants the listeners by using melodies created by graceful vibes and dreamy acoustic guitars. '€œAM 5 Kate (Sweet Mix)'€ includes guest female vocals from Babo (from Seisyun Mid Night Runners). One of the several songs that include vocals, the romantic singing is gently dominated by the musical melodies. The light electronic rhythm creates a futuristic new-age atmosphere. The album'€™s superlative final track, '€œPut A Jonathan In Your Pocket'€ is a poignant song which could be played during the ending credits on a romantic film. Through charming melodies and soft rhythms, '€œPut A Jonathan In Your Pocket'€ paints an audio scene of a beautiful Summer day. Although the album may take some time to be fully appreciated, the LP possesses a magnificent exquisiteness reminiscent of Cocteau Twins, Enya, Kahmi Karie, Mazzy Star, Opal, Dead Can Dance, and Massive Attack. In the songs that include vocals, many of the words are difficult to discern. Like the music of My Bloody Valentine, Lem'€™s vocals are woven deep inside, not on top of the instrumentation. '€œPut A Lem In Your Pocket'€ by Lem is a beautifully subtle and relaxing album. If you find Lem'€™s music in your pocket, consider yourself charmed.

T.JONES: '€œWhat goes on?'€
LEM: '€œI love The Velvet Underground.'€

T.JONES: '€œTell us about this new album, '€˜Put A Lem In Your Pocket'€™.'€
LEM: '€œMarch 3rd 2005 was Lem'€™s first album release. This album is my image scenery.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is the meaning behind the title, '€˜Put A Lem In Your Pocket?'€
LEM: '€œIt'€™s from a title of a pocket nude book from the 60'€™s.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat are your favorite songs on '€˜Put A Lem In Your Pocket?'€
LEM: '€œ'€˜Loosing Summer Set'€™, '€˜AM 5 Kate'€™, and '€˜Put A Jonathan In My Pocket.'€™'€

T.JONES: '€œHow is this album different from your previous '€˜Loosing Summer Set'€™ EP?"
LEM: '€œI made this album as a single-theme record. There is a connection in all music there.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat song took you the longest to do? Why?'€
LEM: '€œ'€˜Am 5 Kate'€™ because I did product with a friend from Tokyo. I live in Fukuoka.'€

T.JONES: '€œThe shortest? Why?'€
LEM: '€œ'€˜From Small Lem'€™s Space (Intro)'€™ because it'€™s short music.'€

T.JONES: '€œOut of all of your songs, which one do you love the most? Why?'€
LEM: '€œ'€˜Put A Jonathan In My Pocket'€™ because it'€™s a very personal song.'€

T.JONES: '€œDoes the name Lem have a special meaning?'€
LEM: '€œI like word'€™s sound and brevity of Lem.'€

T.JONES: '€œMost songs are created by you alone. Do you enjoy working with other musicians?'€
LEM: '€œIf there is an opportunity, I want to try to do it by all means.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhen making songs, do you go into the studio with pre-written lyrics and themes, or do you write to the music? What is the creative process like?'€
LEM: '€œI begin to make it with a guitar. There is a time when I make it from a rhythm tracks. I write lyrics to the atmosphere of music last.'€

T.JONES: '€œTell us about Finderpop / Cassette Vision Label. How did you get involved with them? How are they different from other labels?'€
LEM: '€œI sent it to see the demo recruitment. Label production is handmade meets myself. I give priority to intention of an artist enough.'€

T.JONES: '€œMusically, who are you major influences?'€
LEM: '€œFishmans, Nick Drake, Boards Of Canada, Madlib, Galaxie 500, Cornelius, Tortoise, Jim O'€™Rourke, Brian Wilson, The Pale Fountains, Four Tet, Prefuse 73, The Books, Elliott Smith, The Pastels, Jonathan Richman, Yo La Tengo, and Morrissey.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat was it like growing up in Japan? What kind of kid were you?'€
LEM: '€œFour beautiful Japanese seasons created my feelings. It was a romantic childhood.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is your favorite part of your live show?'€
LEM: '€œPlaying a guitar by loud sound.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow has your live show evolved?'€
LEM: '€œExpression of feelings.'€

T.JONES: '€œWho would you like to collaborate with in the future?'€
LEM: '€œThe Books.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat has been in your CD player or on your turntable recently?'€
LEM: '€œ'€™Evolution fight'€™ by Cyne and '€˜Rideau'€™ by Tape.'€

T.JONES: '€œExplain the song '€˜Put A Jonathan In Your Pocket'€™? That is one of my favorites'€
LEM: '€œI love Jonathan Richman'€™s '€˜That Summer Feeling'€™.'€

T.JONES: '€œAbortion '€“ pro-choice or pro-life?'€
LEM: '€œI'€™m against an abortion for oneself.'€

T.JONES: '€œDeath Penalty '€“ For or against?'€
LEM: '€œAgainst.'€

T.JONES: "Where were you on Sept. 11th (The World Trade Center Terrorist Attack)? How did you deal with it? How do you think this event has affected music? What was Japan'€™s reaction?"
LEM: '€œI knew it in news of TV. I felt terrorism close for the first time. I felt importance of a daily living some other time.'€

T.JONES: '€œWord association time. When I say a name, you say the first word that pops in your head. So, if I say '€˜The Beatles'€™, you may say '€˜Revolution'€™ or '€˜Let It Be'€™. Okay?'€

T.JONES: '€œThe Stone Roses.'€
LEM: '€œI Wanna Be Adored!'€

T.JONES: '€œHappy Mondays.'€
LEM: '€œMadchester.'€

T.JONES: '€œMy Bloody Valentine.'€
LEM: '€œA wave of a moment.'€

T.JONES: '€œMomus.'€
LEM: '€œA writer of the shy middle ages.'€

T.JONES: '€œRide.'€
LEM: '€œAn early singles jacket is so cool!'€

T.JONES: '€œThe Roots.'€
LEM: '€œNative.'€

T.JONES: '€œFelt.'€
LEM: '€œDenim.'€

T.JONES: '€œBlur.'€
LEM: '€œNeo mods!'€

T.JONES: '€œGeorge Bush.'€
LEM: '€œA poor mouse.'€

T.JONES: '€œYour vocals are very low and drowned-out. It adds to the atmosphere of the song. Was this intentional?'€
LEM: '€œIntentional. It is not accident.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat do you think music industry (in general) needs these days?'€
LEM: '€œAn anti-commercial.'€

T.JONES: '€œDo you think that success and credibility are mutually exclusive?'€
LEM: '€œYes.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow are audiences from other countries different from Japanese audiences?'€
LEM: '€œOverseas, people accept me.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat are some major misconceptions that people have of you?'€
LEM: '€œThere is not the popularity that much.'€

T.JONES: '€œIf you could re-make any song, what would it be?'€
LEM: '€œ'€˜Say Yes'€™ by Elliott Smith.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow do you pick the tracks that end up on the final album?'€
LEM: '€œI demand a flow of the music that a feeling is good for myself.'€

T.JONES: '€œYour bio describes your music as '€˜folktronica'€™. Would you agree? Did you ever hear the Momus album called '€˜Folktronica'€™?'€
LEM: '€œYou may invite me to each personapilia. I have not listened to it.'€

T.JONES: '€œDo you want to be cremated or buried?'€
LEM: '€œCremated.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat do you want on your epitaph?'€
LEM: '€œGoing zero.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is in the future for Lem?'€
LEM: '€œI want to make the sound that is a more personal sound.'€

T.JONES: '€œAny final words?'€
LEM: '€œSee the distant cloud. Then, you feel so proud. Blessing approaching, it will come with sting.'€


Interview by Todd E. Jones aka New Jeru Poet

NOTICE: This interview is property of Todd E. Jones and cannot be duplicated or posted without written permission.
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Mr Greenwedz and G Riot

The music of Mr. Greenweedz may sound slightly out of place from the other music released on the record label, All Natural Hip-Hop. Although he creates music with very different vibes and sentiments, he shares a love for creativity and individuality with everyone in his crew.

Based in Chicago, All Natural Hip-Hop is run by Capital D (of the group All Natural). After becoming enlightened with the Muslim religion, Capital D makes a serious effort to release positive, respectful, and socially conscious hip-hop. Every single LP from All Natural is usually spiritually positive while including some kind of socio-political statements. The label includes artists like Daily Planet, G.Riot, Iomos Marad, Rita J, and others.

Member of the label'€™s super group Family Tree, Mr. Greenweedz has always walked his own path. His road was parallel to the label'€™s road, but just a little off to the side. Although he is socially conscious, Greenweedz creates psychedelic, sensual, and conceptually fun hip-hop. While Capital D'€™s music may promote strict discipline, Mr. Greenweedz wants the listener to get loose and trip out on the musical freedom of hip-hop.

Before a full-length album was released, Mr. Greenweedz remained a busy hip-hop artist. His prominent contributions are evident throughout All Natural'€™s catalogue. He has been on all of the Family Tree albums ('€œPlanting Seeds'€ & '€œTree House Rock'€). He contributed a stellar verse on '€œThe Essence Of J. Rawls'€ LP. He rocked his performance on '€œTransformations'€ from Capital D'€™s solo '€œInsomnia'€ LP. He also became the emcee for the band, Liquid Soul.

The seeds of creativity let branches of The Family Tree span across America. From Chicago, Mr. Greenweedz hooked up with G.Riot, a producer from Colorado. On All Natural Hip-Hop, Mr. Greenweedz & G.Riot released 2005'€™s '€œG-Strings'€ LP. G.Riot'€™s signature production added to the high-quality level of All Natural Hip-Hop'€™s music '€œG-Strings'€ maintains the tradition. As a duo, Mr. Greenweedz & G.Riot share a unique chemistry reminiscent of Gangstarr (Guru & Premier) and Eric. B & Rakim. The producer and emcee both maintain their individuality with hardcore hip-hop expression. Although '€œG-Strings'€ may not fit in with the typical LPs released on Capital D'€™s label, the love for originality and unique hip-hop is prevalent.

Mr. Greenweedz has finally completed something that he can call his own. Although his solo LP, '€œWhoritculture'€ has yet to be released, the artist is astute enough to appreciate the fact that he has creative control over the art form he loves. A lover of literature and music, creativity is his addiction. Mr. Greenweedz is not one of those stereotypical dreadlock Rasta emcees. He is a true individual who is high on the addictive opiate of music.

T.JONES: "What goes on?"
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œI'€™m chilling, man. How you feel? Problems are like assholes, we all got them.'€

T.JONES: '€œTell us about your album '€˜G-Strings'€™ on All Natural Records made with G. Riot.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œIt'€™s kind of a double entendre, you know? G for Mr. Greenweedz and G with G.Riot. G! G.Riot has such a unique sound and I wanted to put a unique flavor over it. I wanted to create a new sound called '€˜G-Strings'€™. Our sound is unique in a sense that a lot of people are not putting too much melody in hip-hop nor are people being challenged to think when it comes to the rhyme. I'€™m not saying we are really do something that different, but I'€™m trying to give a little bit of something of the old mixed in with something new. I definitely wanted to have an erotic undertone. That'€™s not the driving force, but music has to establish a mood. Music has to have that sexy quality to it. I want to make that music that just makes people feel good. I think I have that influence too. You have to have emotion in music.'€

T.JONES: '€œAs opposed to the other albums released on All Natural, '€˜G-Strings'€™ has many drug references and a loose attitude towards drugs. How do you feel about drugs? Do you experiment?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œHmm. I have. I'€™m definitely around a lot of people who do. When it comes to Lamb Spread or herb, I'€™ve had that in many different forms like cookies and brownies. I'€™ve done shrooms, which I don'€™t do much. Man, when I did them, it was cool. You can look at it two ways. You can look at it as an extreme connection or paranoia. If you drink too much, it'€™s extreme. Whatever you do, you have to have balance. I haven'€™t done anything else outside of that. I just kind of wanted to touch on that realm. I get into a lot of cats like Carlos Castaneda. I like to get open.'€

T.JONES: '€œLike myself, you are a lover of literature.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œI read literature. One thing I like to do is translate literature into hip-hop. Literature allows you to go deep. The author takes the characters as deep as the author wants to take them. Emcees lay stuff out for you. They give you a blueprint. You can interpret songs many ways. Take any of the Native Tongue records, especially Jungle Brothers or De La Soul. Even Kool Keith. You go back to those records years later, and you finally get what they meant. I want people to get that from me. I'€™m like that anyway. That is what makes music timeless. I don'€™t want people to hear this record and say that it was meant to be played in 2005. I want people to go back to it and hear it like it is something new and fresh.'€

T.JONES: '€œThe '€˜G-Strings'€™ album is very loose compared to the other All Natural releases. Since Capital D is a strict Muslin, did he have problems with some of the album?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œLet me just say that I did receive some. I had to pull sport. They had to drop the record anyway. Let'€™s put it like that. One reflection, you had both ends. Since Cap D underwent a new birth into Islam, he'€™s pretty much about keeping the music a certain way. I don'€™t want to say clean, but maybe more direct or positive. He definitely wanted it to be positive or political. I didn'€™t want to do that on this record. I wanted hip-hop to be fun. I have a lot of situations in life. I'€™m from the West Side of Chicago. I'€™ve dealt with depression, not as far as me being depressed. I'€™ve just seen everyone sad. Everyone wants to talk about problems. It came to a point that it became preachy to me. I just wanted to take a different direction completely. I didn'€™t want to do anything similar to the Family Tree record or an All Natural record. This was also because G.Riot was producing my record.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat did Capital D think of '€˜G-Strings'€™?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œHe didn'€™t like the record. I'€™ve known Cap for years so, that wasn'€™t the Capital D who I'€™ve always known. I think everyone finds their way. I think that he found his way and I have to find mine. Todd, I thought that was a real intriguing question.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is it like working with G.Riot?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œG.Riot has a doctorate in creative writing. He has 2 MSA'€™s in creative writing. I would not have done the project any justice if I came to it so straight forward and linear for a person who is asymmetrical as G.Riot. I'€™m definitely an asymmetrical cat. There is nothing symmetrical about me. My lochs are all uneven.'€

T.JONES: '€œIndividuality is important in hip-hop. These days, many emcees are being honest to themselves and not playing a role.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œAin'€™t that what hip-hop is in a way? Integrity. There are cats out here who are on this positive tip, but the integrity is not there on the records. There are people who are on negative stuff, and the integrity is not there. That is why groups like Public Enemy came. They were timeless. N.W.A. came. They were timeless.'€

T.JONES: '€œDo you think credibility and success are mutually exclusive?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œExplain that to me. Do you mean that they can'€™t have both? Well, yeah, they can have both. You have to just reach that audience.'€

T.JONES: '€œSuccess is relative anyway.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œIt is. There are a lot of cats in the industry who are successful. They used that formula for success and came back to doing music the right way. Definitely, nowadays, it'€™s so cookie cutter out there. People expect something. They expect you to give it to them. At the same time, there is that audience out there who wants to be a cult. They want to be up on something first. You can reach that audience. I have a chance to do that by touring and making music that I believe in. That'€™s the dope thing about All Natural Inc. They have allowed me to make as much music as I could make.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow did you hook up with G.Riot?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œThrough Capital D, actually. He came to my wife'€™s dorm back in 1994. Back then, she was in the University Of Chicago. We hit it off immediately. G.Riot told me that he would get up with me and he did. He wasn'€™t even producing then. He started to tell me about how was doing beats. He had an ear for it. We encouraged him. That'€™s the kind of brothers we are. None of us discourage anyone else. He immediately got it and knew what he was trying to do. He wasn'€™t trying to do what someone else was doing. He definitely looked up to No I.D. and Dug Infinite, but he was trying to put out his own sound that he believed in. We clicked immediately. I'€™ve been traveling back and forth to Denver, Colorado. We get up and record. Especially if I have a show in Denver, I make sure that I get up with him to record. We'€™ve been cool for a while. One thing that G.Riot did for me, he opened me up to Miles Davis.'€

T.JONES: '€œMiles Davis and Bird aka Charlie Parker. They don'€™t make them like that anymore.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œYou know what is crazy? There are hip-hop cats like that. If we really recognize it, we are, in a lot of ways, like them. We are always trying to recreate our own sound. What I learned from Miles Davis is have integrity, believe in what you do, feel good about it, and don'€™t over-think the music. That was the approach I took. I'€™m not trying to do what Cap or All Natural did. I'€™m not even trying to do what Family Tree did. That'€™s why it'€™s a solo record. It'€™s supposed to be me. We are supposed to give the consumer something different.'€

T.JONES: '€œDo you have a favorite song on '€˜G-Strings'€™?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œI love '€˜Rex Cortez'€™. I love '€˜Carlos Castaneda'€™. I love '€˜Rex Cortez'€™. I didn'€™t do that song for shock value. I wanted to see if people would pay attention. I wanted to see if they could listen to a song all the way through or just experience power words. Listeners don'€™t listen, they just hear. Words come at them. Then, they feel that they get the song. Then, they are offended. They are only offended because it is something that they wanted to say.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhen you go into the studio, do you have pre-written rhymes or a set theme? Or, do you write to the music?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œI hear the music first and write to the beat. I definitely have a mental rolodex of ideas like some Terminator shit.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat was the last incident of racism you experienced?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œWell, I experience it everyday. I don'€™t let it really bother me. One that comes to mind is a year and a half ago. I got a D.W.I. by this Asian cop. I was driving a Range Rover. He stopped me and gave me a sobriety test. He said that I failed it when I didn'€™t fail it, but I had herb in my system. I was trying to get to a certain destination. I was cooperating with these cats, which you should never do. Plead the 5th Amendment every time. You have that right. Use it! He pulled me over and fucked my stuff up. It was crazy to me because we are all in the same boat. I had a lot of incidents where that happened, but that was a memorable situation.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhere were you on the September 11th terrorist attack? How did you deal with it? How has it affected the music industry?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œMy birthday is the 10th of September. The day before my birthday, me and wife were in Havana, Cuba. We flew back on my birthday and we were going to leave the next day for Nassau, Bahamas. We were supposed to leave at 3 pm. We were watching TV that morning and obviously, everything happened. It did make me resilient. I knew exactly what was going on. I called the U.S. embassy, so we weren'€™t going to be stranded. Got a hotel and got 4th off the price. I had a bunch of Cuban cigars. I took it in stride. It was tragic to me. One thing that I did learn was that nobody learned anything from it. The pop is eating itself.'€

T.JONES: '€œThat'€™s also a name of a band, Pop Will Eat Itself.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œI know. I like saying that phrase. It is. The new Negro is Muslim now.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat has been in your CD player in the last couple of days?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œA lot of reggae. I'€™m really feeling that Damian Marley.'€

T.JONES: '€œThat Ky-Mani Marley joint on Afu-Ra'€™s '€˜The Body Of The Life Force'€™ LP was dope.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œHe'€™s my man. We'€™re actually doing a tune together.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat emcee/group would you like to collaborate with in the future?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œI'€™m doing it. I'€™m hooking up with Jungle Brothers right now. We'€™re setting up a tour and starting a Family Tree & Jungle Brothers album. Chuck D is someone I would love to do something with. To clear the air, John Popper from Blues Traveler. Me, him, and DJ Logic are doing something. All the Marley'€™s too. Me and the Marley'€™s are cool. We play Madden all the time, when I'€™m out in L.A. I mean, Prince and James Brown are two other artists.'€

T.JONES: '€œWord association time. When I say a name, you say the first word that pops in your head. So, if I say '€˜Flava Flav, you may say '€˜Clock'€™, '€˜The Surreal Life'€™, or '€˜Crack'€™. Okay?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œSure.'€

T.JONES: '€œCapital D.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œBrilliant.'€

T.JONES: '€œIomos Marad.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œTalented.'€

T.JONES: '€œJay-Z.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œGolden.'€

T.JONES: '€œDead Prez.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œResilient, determined.'€

T.JONES: '€œHappy Mondays.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œWonderful.'€

T.JONES: '€œThe Stone Roses.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œDon'€™t know who they are.'€

T.JONES: '€œCurtis Mayfield.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œForever.'€

T.JONES: '€œPublic Enemy.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œTrendsetting.'€

T.JONES: '€œJimi Hendrix.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œRidiculous.'€

T.JONES: '€œBrand Nubian.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œFlavor.'€

T.JONES: '€œGeorge Bush.'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œThe devil.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat can fans expect from Mr. Greenweedz in the future?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œFirst of all, I don'€™t consider them fans. I consider them counterparts or family. I don'€™t know, man. I'€™m just doing what I'€™m doing everyday, evolving my sound, and evolving my rhymes. They will expect dope music from me regardless. Whether they think that it is dope or not, it'€™s something I felt good about. Whatever you hear from me, it is something I feel good about.'€

T.JONES: '€œFinal words?'€
MR. GREENWEEDZ: '€œJust do you. Do you. As long as you believe in what you are doing, it doesn'€™t really matter what anybody says. It isn'€™t even about believing. It'€™s about what you subscribe to, your faith, God, and Jah.'€

Thank you

Interview by Todd E. Jones (aka The New Jeru Poet)

NOTICE: This interview is property of Todd E. Jones and cannot be duplicated or posted without written permission.
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