Yoko Ono: Yes, I’m a Witch Too

yokoYoko Ono
Yes, I’m a Witch Too
(Manimal Vinyl Records)

Misunderstood and often maligned, the music of Yoko Ono ought to be celebrated, dissected, and danced to. And in effect, that is among the goals of her latest album, Yes, I’m a Witch Too, released last month via Manimal Vinyl. The second in a series where contemporary musicians remix the work of the legendary Ono, Yes, I’m a Witch Too sometimes succeeds in adding new layers to a unique body of work, but often where added layers serve only to distort the rich simplicity of Ono’s earlier recorded material. Still, it is interesting and impressive to see electronic musicians like Danny Tenaglia, Moby, and Cibo Matto filter their own music through one of their likely influences in Ono. On one of the album’s catchier, more untouched tracks, John Palumbo reimagines “I Have a Woman Inside My Soul” with four-to-the-floor beats ticking above quietly humming, ethereal synths as Ono’s voice rings, “I have a woman inside my soul/I wish I knew what she means to me.” Portugal. The Man’s reworking of “Soul Got Out of the Box” manages, in its lighter, sing-songy version, to elevate the music of Ono, standing alone, as good art often does, as it unravels around the music that influenced it. In a telling take, the signature, eerie aura of Ono’s original music transcribes itself into Sean Lennon’s remix of “Dogtown,” as if through an unspoken artistic syllogism.

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About Matthew Herzfeld

Matt Herzfeld is a freelance writer, music supervisor and musician, and serves as Music Project Manager for the French Music Office at the French Embassy in the US. He is based in New York City.
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