Some artists are primarily about the work, others about the ideas. John Cage tilted famously towards latter, ditto his pal and co-conspirator Yoko Ono, whose recent career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art was an impressive reminder. Among those ideas, the 2007 LP Yes I’m a Witch was a good one, with collaborators remixing and reimagining her thorny back catalog. This sequel takes a similar approach, to mixed effect.
On the downside: lead track “Walking On Thin Ice,” where DJ hero Danny Tenaglia replaces Ono’s best-ever club groove with overripe strings – odd, since he’s done bangin’ remixes of the song in the past. But there’s plenty of upside here, too. See Tune-Yards’ five-alarm “Warrior Woman,” which swaps the deep cut’s lite pop-rock for a barrage of samples and crashing beats; Miike Snow’s “Catman,” which giddily updates the original’s sexy-dada prog-rock; and Moby’s “Hell In Paradise,” a beautifully ambient abstraction of her mid-Eighties single. Even in the most radically-overhauled settings, Ono’s feminist, activist, avant-garde spirit is a beacon – the sound of a good witch still making radical ideas seem possible, and fun to boot.