Mix matters

By DAVID DAY  |  May 15, 2006

There is a lot of frivolity in CB’s style — they’re the first to tell you it’s all for the partying crowd. But they take the party seriously. Poirier, who recently produced tracks for Lady Sovereign, says in an e-mail, “I basically decided to start my irregular monthly night ‘Bounce le Gros’ when Certified Bananas came for the first time in Montreal. It was one of the most packed crowds ever. . . . It was insane. Just insane.

“I think their main quality is they are musically flexible. They can go from a really obscure track to a huge pop track in five minutes. They sincerely love pop music and indie music with all the links in between. Also, as tag-team DJs . . . well, it’s like having two hard drives on your computer.”

Putting über-cool club tracks from Metro Area underneath Three 6 Mafia is something only the Banana crew can do, but it doesn’t stop the imitators, many of whom are hosting the pair on their weekends-only tour. “It’s part of the way this whole thing has come together,” Posner says. “Everyone has their little outpost.”

Posner and Gilten are playing nights like Superfriends in San Francisco and Nanci Raygun in Richmond. Since these are all weekend party nights, the duo will return to Providence a few times during the tour to resume their perfectly non-ironic day jobs — Posner is a lab technician and Gitlen runs a food co-op. “Max is Americorps-funded, so he’s working with a small organization,” says Posner; he adds that he himself has always been a big “fan of science.” And there are many chemical composites on Sprang, along with plenty of co-operative moments. Minute #50, though, had this writer laughing out loud. The blend? How about a Baltimore breaks remix of Little Mermaid’s “Kiss the Girl”?

“I would like that song even if you didn’t put it on a mixtape,” Posner says. “We definitely bring a pop-music angle. We’re not interested in genre bashing. We’re going to look for stuff that works, and it could be from any genre of music.” Despite thousands of Internet downloads, Certified Bananas have pressed only 500 copies of Sprang. They’re hoping to stay under the radar of any desperate lawyers. And though sampling Disney isn’t the most subtle of moves, CB can take comfort in the fact that Diplo and the Rub have been moving units through mixtape outlets for months.

“We wanted to call the mix Fair Trade,” Posner laughs. “But we realized that if people searched Google for ‘Fair Trade Certified Bananas’ they’d get links to, uh, Fair Trade–certified bananas and not us.” He laughs again. “That idea got squashed — oh, the only time I make [banana] puns is when I don’t realize it.”

From Poirier’s point of view, there’s no mystery to Certified Bananas’ success. “Work and curiosity. They worked and still work hard. That’s the only way.”

Certified Bananas + Ghislain Poirier | May 12 | Enormous Room, 569 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 617.491.5550

On the Web
Certified Bananas: http://www.certifiedbananas.com/

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