The band formed in July 1998, and began by opening for New Zealand bands Salmonella Dub and Pitch Black at the local pub O’Flaherty’s. They toured extensively throughout 1999, releasing that same year a self-titled EP recorded with David Holmes at Napier’s Venn Production Studios. The year 2000 brought a gig at The Event New Years party in Napier, and the 7” single Erfo, a limited release on the Crawlspace Records label.
Jakob returned to Venn Studios in March 2001 to record their debut album with engineer David Holmes. Subsets of Sets was released April 2002 through New Zealand’s Midium Records to good reviews and a nomination at the bNet independent music awards. Jakob continued touring with artists such as HDU and fellow Midium artists Avotor and Meterman, as well as playing at the 2002 Big Day Out.
A period of inactivity followed, lasting between six and eight months. The band didn’t play together during that time, and for two months didn’t even see each other. They regrouped in January 2003 with ideas for new songs, and spent a week at The Church studio with David Holmes. This session was ultimately scrapped, but after more rehearsal final versions of the songs were recorded over two days in March. Cale:Drew, their second full-length album, was released in August 2003 and garnered Jakob another bNet nomination.
International touring followed in 2004, to Chicago (where they played at studio radio station WXRT), Denmark, and the United Kingdom. They were well-received at every venue, and released a 7” single, Semaphore, in Europe. Also that year, they released the one-track mini-album Dominion, and played a 25 minute set at Radio New Zealand’s Helen Young Studios (consisting of the songs Laburnum, Semaphore, Nice Day for an Earthquake, and Jimmy Hoffa).
2005 saw more international touring by Jakob, with the band playing at South by Southwest in March, and Australia in September (in support of the release of Cale:Drew there) and again in late October (with Australian band Cog). It also saw the release of their Diffusion 7” and Coalescence, a 12” compilation from Midium Records, featuring a track by Jakob.
Jakob played concerts all through New Zealand in August 2006 as part of the Low Hum tour, and released their third album Solace in September 2006.
In April 2008 Jakob toured Europe with Isis and The Austerity Program, and Australia with Cog. They also completed a US tour in the second half of 2008, once again with ISIS. They are currently working on material for a new album.|In March 2010, Jakob announced a four date April tour of NZ, heading in May and June to the US West Coast to support ISIS’ tour once again.
Jakob were the hand picked support for prog-rock legends TOOL on their 2011 Big Day Out sideshows in Australia.
According to Post-Rock.ro, Jakob will begin recording their next album this fall, with a projected release for early next year.