In 2008, Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys and hip-hop producer Boom Bip teamed up to produce an unlikely musical tribute to car manufacturer John DeLorean.
Working as Neon Neon, the pair put out Stainless Steel, a well-received album of biographical electro-pop. With guests ranging from the inspired (Fatlip, Spank Rock) to the deeply silly (Har Mar Superstar), it proved an infectious project, and ended up bagging a surprise Mercury nomination. It was also an avowedly one-off endeavour, with Rhys publicly stating that the ambit of the project was too narrow to justify a second record.
Things, however, seem to have changed. NME report that Neon Neon are stirring back into action, with the pair apparently taking inspiration from another unlikely muse. The pair took to their Facebook page last week to launch their new Instagram account, accompanied with the words “Follow us, something wicked this way comes…”. The account contained a solitary photo of Italian communist and publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, accompanied with the tagline ‘NN2′.
Feltrinelli’s story is a good one. Emerging from an extremely well-to-do family, Feltrinelli spurned his wealth to join the Italian Communist Party and fend off the invading German army in the 1940s. As well as remaining involved in militant Communist activism, he subsequently incurred the wrath of the Soviet government by publishing Pasternak’s Dr Zhivago in 1957. He also travelled the world meeting revolutionaries like Fidel Castro, and published writings from Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh. He died in 1972, supposedly blown up by explosives intended for a covert Communist operation.