Arson Optics and Mirage512 remain one of the most unlikely yet most eclectic collaborative teams in Austin hip hop since they first linked in 1999 to work on Mirage’s “Bonafide” album. The album became a local Austin classic and also showed a transition in Mirage’s sound. Arson always had a fundamental hip hop sound mixing a love for jazz and boom bap hip hop from his native Pittsburgh with the southern influence of growing up in Texas during his teens. The fact that Arson’s father is a musician only adds to his necessary involvement in music. Mirage being Arsons elder he took him under his wing and giving him jazz records to listen to and sample. These songs grew into a group project called “SOUL ODYSSEY”. The project yielded one 12inch vinyl that became another classic in Austin, though the 2 recorded a whole project of 12 songs they never put out the entire project. Around the time that they were really looking to release the project, Arson moved to Boston Massachusetts to attend the world famous Berkley Music Conservatory to further master music. The 2 did record the “FORMULA512” mix-tape which featured no less than 15 of Austin’s finest emcees and again became a classic. Upon graduating from Berkley Arson moved Los Angeles to begin working for Universal Records at the same time Mirage began to hit his stride as a solo artist making solo projects and getting into production himself.
Though the 2 pretty much use Soul Odyssey as the brand when they record together they never put that brand out fully. They have recorded material since the time they recorded the album and mix-tape in 2003. The 2 however hook up annually during the winter holidays when Arson comes home to Texas to visit his parents. “THE SIGNS” grew out of a conversation about the state of the country right now. Check it out and please leave some feedback.