Shima Banana is a half-Japanese, half-American singer, producer and engineer from Tokyo. Having previous been signed to a major label in Japan as the member of a J-Pop group, Shima ultimately quit to study music and engineering. Since then she has been working music on her own. Rare is taken from her forthcoming debut EP, and she recorded, produced, mixed and mastered it herself.
Rare enters your ears with a energetic and loose bass line, before creating space for a playful vocal and subsequently a clatter of lively synths. This is a song that delivers a real linear, structured feeling for the listener - it has a series of moments and arranges these in series as opposed to layering them together, creating a distinctive experience, almost like walking between three rooms where you have complimentary but distinct music playing. It’s also what I would generally describe as textural - the rhythms have an almost tangible physicality to them, the synths feel solid, and the whole record boasts this sense of space, like you are in the middle of the sound.
Rare feels all too brief, but the experience of listening to it is a little captivating. As it finishes I feel my brain trying to hold onto the feeling, like trying to keep hold of water that is destined to slip through your fingers. There is a break midway through the song that teases you, making you think the song is over before it is... And every time it comes back in at that point it brings me a little joy.