Robots With Hearts is a collaboration between two artists that will be familiar to two worlds. Icon the Mic King is a veteran battle emcee who has been around for ages. Andy Coleman has recorded several downtempo albums for labels such as Ninja Tune and Thrill Jockey; his 1999 album as Animals on Wheels, Nuvol I Cadira, is particularly nice.
The duo’s first 12-inch, Divided by Zero EP, drops next Monday, October 26 on UK imprint TAPE Records. A representative from the label was kind enough to send me a track from the EP, “Downward Spiral.” For those of you familiar with Animals on Wheels, the song is much more glitch-y and tweaked than Coleman’s solo material, but it has a familiar, melancholy vibe. And I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of Mike’s rhymes, which covered, well, being in a downward spiral.
My only quibble is that the song didn’t completely coalesce. Mike tries to sing a chorus, then admits at the song’s end that he can’t sing. Meanwhile, Coleman throws in some unnecessary effects that distract from Mike’s vocals. It’s a common occurrence when electronic producers and MCs collaborate (see Funkstorung, Prefuse 73, et cetera). Gotta let that bitch breathe, y’all.
Nevertheless, Robots With Hearts seems like a promising venture. I’m looking forward to its debut album, which is currently scheduled for early next year. You can download “Downward Spiral” for yourself after the jump.
Robots With Hearts, “Downward Spiral”