MB Jones, formerly known as one half of the Jee Jee Band (notably responsible for Glass Fish, their breakthrough album on the legendary Osaka-based imprint, EM Records) made his solo debut on short-lived French label DRAMA in 2018, with R.O.K. Spy, an album recounting the story of a former US special agent in the Republic of Korea on the verge of a nuclear conflict. Colonizing Imaginary Geography is its direct successor.
MB Jones adopts the repetitive pop miniature recipe that has been his for over a decade but intensifies and clarifies it by radicalizing the formula. As his lyrics sounds more than ever like secular mantras (“what you gonna do, when the big earthquake misses you?”), the structure of his songs complexifies: on the opening track, layers of sounds of different nature and from different time & space (some parts recorded on the American continent, other ones in Korea and field recordings from all over the world) intertwine in a monolithic yet somehow intricate framework, catalyzing their latent hallucinogenic effects.
As an album, Colonizing Imaginary Geography also departs from its happily jumbled predecessors. Never has a MB Jones’ LP been so carefully designed. It divides into two parts of approximate equal length. The second one, entitled Wabisabi, culminates in a 17 minutes long Wabisabi Suite and its three movements.
If one had to describe MB Jones’ music using only a few words, “playful minimalist pop songs” would probably be a nice shot. Moments like Plastic Kisses, the opening of the Wabisabi Suite, corroborates perfectly such a wording, as loops of toy sounds provide the structure in a way that recalls Nobukazu Takemura or the music that Steve Beresford used to release on Nato or as General Strike. Yet what might be its most idiosyncratic trait is the bizarre, time-stretching manner Jones arranges his songs, infusing the music with a dissociative quality that fits well the ketamine age we’re living in.
Recorded in Busan (ROK) between 2019 & 2021
Mastering by Rupert Clervaux
Art Direction by Fregant Cloarec