Yoko Ono is now as old as your grandmother. So why is she still so controversial within the famously tolerant dance community? DJ Danny Tenaglia caught shit for her “Open Your Box” freak-out at his annual Miami Winter Music Conference bash last year. Her imperative to “take off your pants so I can come all over you” didn’t please the audience of pilled-out punters and cranky, sleep-deprived critics. That and the shrieking. Lots of shrieking. Did I mention it was 7 a.m.?
Maybe genius needs to be misunderstood. Maybe there are legions of secret Beatles fans working it on dancefloors around the globe with resentment in their hearts. Or, get this, maybe Ono’s the one to rebridge punk and dance. Not namby-pamby electro poses but primal screams that sully the pristine South Beach ether. But even avant-tards will unwittingly dig the new “Yang Yang” remixes, the third in a series of superstar-DJ makeovers of her work, this time from Roxy resident DJ Peter Rauhofer and New Jersey production team the Orange Factory. (Ono is to innovative DJ construction as McCartney is to retread 9-11 ballads.) Rauhofer’s contributions veer from the breathy, orgasmic breakdowns of the opening Ying mix to the techno-y thud-thud-thud Yang version, which makes prominent use of the cathartic Ono invectives: “I want you. I hate you. I want you. You’re making me sick!” (Take that, McCartney!) Where Rauhofer is minimalist, the Orange Factory is funky—their Down & Dirty mix wouldn’t sound out of place in a Mitsubishi commercial (minus anything remotely Ono-esque—she’s a hard sell, haven’t you been reading? See McCartney for product placement), their Pump mix, progressive enough to please Sasha and Diggers fans.
Tenaglia, meanwhile, hasn’t shied away from Ono. He played “Walking on Thin Ice” at his recent Be Yourself classics party, explaining to the audience how it was a fave at Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage. Then he put on his own version, the next due out in the series, which makes brilliant use of all those Ono “Aye! Aye! Aye! Aye! Aye! Aye! Aye!”s. And the crowd got down.