Neon Neon Ritorno!

NeonNeon 2013: [L] Boom Bip/Gruff Rhys [R]

NeonNeon 2013: [L] Boom Bip/Gruff Rhys [R]

It’s no secret that I picked up a time bomb in the bins during Record Store Day 2011. I was drawn to the cover design, and printing techniques in particular, used on the cover of Neon Neon’s “Stainless Style” album from 2008. Little did I know that the teamup between Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys and producer Boom Bip was a retro-synthpop concept album about the rise and fall of John Delorean! The whole thing played like a [fantastic] lost Duran Duran/Cars album with some hip hop thrown in for good measure. It says volumes that two of the hip hop numbers I actually liked! But given the nature of the collaboration, it seemed like this was truly a one-off project for the “band.” Mercury Prize nomination be damned. Looks like I was wrong! The post-modern equivalent of the Alan Parsons Project [with much better tunes] is back!

Lex Records | US | CD | 2013

Lex Records | US | CD | 2013

“Praxis Makes Perfect” is their newest concept album/opus and like the last one, there are handfuls of guest stars with Cate LeBon making a return visit. This time the story they are telling is based on the vibrant life of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli; a left-wing Italian publisher who while born as the scion of a wealthy family of privilege, came to embrace communism as he saw capitalism as a walled garden where almost all were denied entry at the echelons he was accustomed to. Feltrinelli was decisive in first publishing Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago” which became a worldwide phenomenon after he first brought it to press. Between that time and the next dozen years, there’s enough intrigue and drama for three or four albums, so hats off to Neon Neon for finding a vivid subject matter for their newest album.

Guest stars here run the gamut from LeBon to filmmaker Asia Argento and even 80s Italo-pop phenomenon Sabrina. That last name makes my head spin as I recall Smash Hits reporting on her in the mid-80s. She was viewed as an Italian equivalent of Samantha Fox so what she will do here is your guess as well as mine! Most intriguingly, Neon Neon have opted for a fascinating way to promote this work. Rather than a pedestrian tour of clubs and the like, they have collaborated with playwright Wils Wilson and have created a play to be held at the National Theatre Wales with a run of May 2, 2013 through May 5, 2013! Tickets are a scant £15 so if you find yourself in Wales this spring, make pains to attend!

neon-neon---praxismakesperfectDLXUSCDAThe album itself appears in two forms on CD. The straight version [above] and the DLX edition pictured at left. The DLX CD contains an extra 4 track EP “Years Of Lead” that no doubt reference the tumultuous times in Italy following the inconclusive death of Feltrinelli in a suspicious explosion of his own bombs. [By this time Feltrinelli had crossed the militant line with his formation of the Gruppi di Azione Partigiana in 1970.] The album drops in America on April 30 and I’ll be looking out for this since I really enjoyed the first Neon Neon album; having revisited it last weekend to much pleasure.

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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One Response to Neon Neon Ritorno!

  1. Echorich says:

    What a wonderful birthday present!! You know I share your LOVE LOVE LOVE of Neon Neon Monk! This sounds utterly brilliant and I can only expect tremendous things from the inclusion of Sabrina (tongue firmly in cheek and ready to be proved wrong!).


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