Part Ninety-Seven. LA based producer Boom Bip and Super Furry Animals front man and solo star Gruff Rhys, have joined forces to create a new group Neon Neon. They began work on the project in October 2006 originally under the moniker Delorean. In March 2008 the duo, by now calling themselves Neon Neon, released a full-length album entitled Stainless Style to generally positive reviews and earned a nomination for the 2008 Mercury Music Prize.
Stainless Style is themed around and inspired by the incredible, colorful life of the world’s first playboy engineer, John DeLorean. The ballsy businessman dealt in high stakes, borrowing enormous sums of money [including £85 million from the British Government] in order to fulfill his lifelong dream of building an automotive empire. His crowning glory, the iconic DMC-12, better known as simply ‘The DeLorean’, was fittingly immortalized as Marty and Doc’s time machine in legendary 80s movie Back To The Future.
On April 30, 2013, the group released their second album, Praxis Makes Perfect, focusing on the life of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. Born into one of Italy’s wealthiest families, Feltrinelli was a controversial left-wing activist with connections to Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. He published some of the greatest
literary works of the 20th century including The Leopard, which became the biggestselling novel in Italian history, and Doctor Zhivago, a banned masterpiece brought to the world’s attention by Feltrinelli who risked his life smuggling the manuscript out of the USSR. Feltrinelli died in suspicious circumstances in 1972 but lives on through his literary legacy and – perhaps paradoxically considering his politics – a chain of ‘la Feltrinelli’ shops still trading throughout Italy.
Praxis Makes Perfect is a musical biopic of Feltrinelli’s colourful life viewed through the lens of Gruff Rhys’ highly original songwriting and Boom Bip’s shimmering, synth-heavy production. The album spans Feltrinelli’s fast-paced lifestyle (The Jaguar), political beliefs (Dr Zhivago, Hammer & Sickle), infamous photographs of him playing basketball with Castro (Hoops with Fidel) and the breadth of viewpoints and ideas he helped to give voice to (Listen To The Rainbow).
Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip have also teamed up with playwright Tim Price, director Wils Wilson and the National Theatre Wales for the following Neon Neon live shows which blur the boundaries between pop gig and theatre performance…
BUY ‘PRAXIS MAKES PERFECT’ FROM ITUNES UK HERE
FIVE SONGS YOU MUST HEAR THIS WEEK #97: NEON NEON (Boom Bip)
CHRIS DARROW-TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF
This tune is a wonderful mash of influences. It’s sounds like appalachian reggae and you can’t help swaying back and fourth and smiling while it plays.
AMON DUUL II-SPANIARDS AND SPACEMEN
Ridiculous groove on this one and a sampler’s delight at 2:35 followed by a pitchy guitar solo
Serbian post punk at it’s best. This entire album is incredible.
BRYAN FERRY-WHICH WAY TO TURN
Sexual turmoil in the 90s. Lots of candle light was used in this recording.
Hypnotic and breathy synth work. You could loop this for days and not get sick of it.