Souls Of Mischief’s Opio & Free The Robots Recorded An LP In A Redwoods Forest. Hear Some (Audio Premiere)
Earlier this year, Souls Of Mischief/Hieroglyphics MC Opio and producer Free The Robots teamed for The Subconscious Mind EP, including “Let The Bass Go.” Moving forward, the Oakland, California veteran and the accomplished producer (Capital STEEZ, Nocando, Busdriver) merge towards Sempervirens (September 18).
The duo recorded this full-length in a California redwood forest grove called Cazadero. As a spokesperson for the project says, “Splitting their time between Cazadero and the Sonoma and Mendocino County coasts while deep in the recording process proved to be a fertile creative landscape to shape the album. The title, Sempervirens, comes from the ‘Sequoia Sempervirens,’ which is the scientific name for the giant redwood tree. The term ‘sempervirens’ also means “always living.” In recent years, beyond his own crews, Opio has worked with Zion I’s Amp Live, Z-Man, and Guilty Simpson.
Approaching their first LP, the duo (which can be watched at work via Delicious Vinyl TV) premieres single, “Stoned Temple Pilot.” A play on the 1990s Rock outfit of a near-exact name, the song is a hazy exercise of Ope’s nimble bars and F.T.R.’s dynamic productions. Understanding this music was made in the tranquil shadows of some of North America’s tallest trees may seem plausible, as one of Souls’ most experimental founding members goes a step further than ever before.
This single follows “Point Of View,” which released last week. Opio explains the creative process, “Sempervirens means always living. Both F.T.R and I have a common goal of making timeless music. We spent countless hours out in nature. Walking the rugged coastlines of the Northern California coast and writing and recording in groves of the giant redwoods. 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.”
The former Jive Records artist also clarified a common misnomer. “To me, in a way, the album is very psychedelic but it’s not druggy. It’s more psychedelic in the terms of me sitting in the woods and clearing my thoughts and mind. When I emerge from the psychedelic experience I feel more powerful, stronger, whole and then this is my creation from that renewal of self.”
Free The Robots adds that nature and environment played a critical role in this LP. “As much as my productions have had a tendency to stray in strange directions over the years, my roots are in Hip-Hop. The making of Semepervirens was therapeutic for me. It brought me back to my roots, with a decade worth of new ideas that defined FTR. I spent most of my years creating in solitary, and finally finding the like minded Opio to build with just felt right. 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. We spent a lot of time in different environments in the making of this album, but it was getting back to nature that kept us grounded and inspired.”
Below is the artwork, with tracklisting:
Do you think it speaks to Hip-Hop’s growth that an album can be recorded amidst nature?