Critical Praise for Opio x Free the Robots:
“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
Chris Alfaro is Free the Robots; the beatmaker/DJ known for his unique sound, hinting at jazz, blues, psych, electronic, and hip hop, while remaining un-genre-fiable. Using everything from dusty, obscure samples, mind-warping analog and digital synths, and live instruments, his dirty drums and progressive melodies blend everything together into sonically rich compositions. His ever-evolving, imaginative sound breaks free from any boundaries and flows away from robotic monotony: freeing the robots.
Based out of Santa Ana, CA, Free The Robots started as a side project by Alfaro in 2003, while also playing with different bands, producing MC’s, and DJing full time. Having worked with so many different styles of music, Free the Robots brought everything together under one roof, allowing for further exploration in sound. As one of the pioneering artists to come out of LA’s beat movement, Free the Robots continues to expand minds around the world with his lineup of original recordings and energetic live performances, sharing stages with the likes of DJ Shadow, Prefuse 73, Flying Lotus, The Glitch Mob, and Afrika Bambaataa.
Upon being introduced to Free The Robot’s 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.
Recorded in a Redwood Forest Grove, Hieroglyphics Emcee and Seasoned Los Angeles Producer Release Collaborative Sempervirens LP, Premiered by Okayplayer
Preparing For the Release of Their Sempervirens Album, the Hieroglyphics MC and LA Beat Scene Vet Share Booming Single, Premiered by HipHopDX
The Hieroglyphics MC and LA Beat Scene Vet Announce Sempervirens Album With Infectious, Boom-Bap Single, Premiered by RESPECT
The Souls of Mischief Rapper Teams Up With the L.A. Beat Scene Vet For a Mystical Video, Premiered By Okayplayer
The Hieroglyphics MC Teams Up With the L.A. Beat Scene Pioneer For A RetroFunk EP, Debuted by Red Bull
The Hieroglyphics MC Teams Up With the L.A. Beat Scene Pioneer For A Forthcoming EP, Releasing March 3rd, First Visual Premiered by Okayplayer
The Hieroglyphics Rapper Connects With A Pioneer of L.A.’s Beat Scene For A Forthcoming EP, First Single Premiered By EARMILK