Album: Souls of Mischief’s Opio x Free the Robots – Sempervirens

Recorded in a Redwood Forest Grove, Hieroglyphics Emcee and Seasoned Los Angeles Producer Release Collaborative Sempervirens LP, Premiered by Okayplayer


Critical Praise:

“Free the Robots…taps a dark, psychedelic vein while boasting highly technical hip-hop production prowess.”SPIN

“Opio’s strengths are found in his flow and wordplay. His cadence is married to each rhythm.”Okayplayer

“Opio’s ability to utilize intricate wordplay and vivid imagery as a means of putting him ahead of the pack.”HipHopDX

“Somewhere between the neck-snapping, gritty hip-hop of the FatBeats era, the fuzzy, distorted psychedelia of the 60s & 70s, cool jazz, and the woozy beats scene of the last decade lies the music of Free the Robots.”Okayfuture

The Album:

They say creativity reaches its peak when one abandons the daily routines and sights of the monotony in everyday life. That’s exactly what Hieroglyphics/Souls of Mischief’s Opio and L.A. beat scene vet Free the Robots did with their newest album, Sempervirens which premiered via Okayplayer. Retreating out to a redwood grove on the Northern California coast, the duo escaped their respective cities and let their minds flow.

“This time spent away from the chaotic concrete jungles we both live in recharged our batteries and set the stage to create art off of the renewed energy from our inspiring journey,” explains Opio. Free the Robots adds that “I feel like we are both going through a re-birth, and with that, we both have been able to create with no expectations; just open minds.” This fresh outlook is apparent on tracks such as “808 State of Mind,” where fat synth bass lines meld with shimmering hi-hats and tight 808 snares. On others like “Loki Drop,” Opio spits over layered percussion and spastic yet rhythmic vocal samples.

Sempervirens is a result of Opio and Free the Robots first meeting at Hiero Day back in 2013. Released earlier this year, The Subconscious Mind EP was their first release together, debuted by Red Bull. The duo recently played at the 4th annual Hiero Day in Oakland on September 7th, and will be heading over seas at the top of next month for shows at Melkweg in Amsterdam on October 1st and in Paris on October 4th at Be Street Weekend.

Stream Sempervirens on Spotify:

Stream Sempervirens on SoundCloud:

Check out the Okayplayer premiere:

Purchase the album on iTunes:

Please contact Michelle or Rory for more info.

The Background:

Upon being introduced to Free The Robots’ music while on tour for Souls of Mischief, Opio gravitated towards FTR’s bass-heavy vibe and added his catalogue to his daily music rotation. While reading up on FTR, Opio learned that he not only is he a beatmaker but a food maker as well and when the tour roared through his hometown of Santa Ana, Opio made a point of having dinner at FTR’s restaurant, the Crosby. While at dinner with his tour-mates, producer and composer Adrian Younge and Souls of Mischief-mate, Phesto, Opio and Free The Robots got a chance to know one another. As is turns out, a lot of Free The Robots’ hip hop background had been greatly influenced by Opio, and Opio, wanting to take his solo work in a more futuristic progressive direction, found inspiration in FTR. They immediately clicked. By the end of dinner, they had plans to make a record and here it is, The Subconscious Mind EP.

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“Psych Ward”:

“Stoned Temple Pilot”:

“Point of View”:

“Let the Bass Go”:

“Blow Sum Smoke”:

Bio, pictures and streams available here: