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Jazz Rock/Fusion • Japan

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Founded in Japan in 2009

A Japanese symphonic jazz rock combo PTF (officially ptf, written in lower-case letters) were founded as a quartet by Keisuke TAKASHIMA (violin), Takeya KITO (keyboards), Hiroyuki ITO (bass), and Yusuke SEKI (drums) in 2009. Gained musical experience through lots of gigs mainly around Tokyo quite inspired by 70s progressive rock, jazz rock, and heavy metal scene (according to what Keisuke says), finally their debut album "percept from ..." was released in February 2013 via Musea Records.

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PTF discography

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PTF top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 25 ratings
Percept From ...
3.87 | 83 ratings
What Is Constant
3.67 | 12 ratings
The World[s]
4.33 | 3 ratings
Genesis of the Stars

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PTF Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 What Is Constant by PTF album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.87 | 83 ratings

What Is Constant
ptf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars PTF are a Japanese four-piece instrumental jazz/fusion band who play in a very romantic and symphonic manner, their music frequently driven by Keisuke Takashima's warm and lively acoustic and electric violin playing replacing the need for guitar. Their debut `Percept From...' back in 2013 on the Musea label was a beautiful work full of spirited and energetic performances, and with the same line-up in place, this follow-up `What is Constant' progresses the band nicely, offering a touch more variety than the first disc as well as more ambitious arrangements and an added maturity that further time spent together as a band brings. Throw in some welcome Canterbury Scene touches, classical flourishes and endless symphonic grandeur, and you have one of the most dynamic instrumental albums of 2015!

Looking at the opening and closing pieces first, the striking lead-track `Time Lapse' dashes through moments of Yusuke Seki's thrashing drums, ghostly piano, Hiroyuki Ito's murmuring bass ruminations, searing yet reflective electric violin and Takeya Kito's humming Hammond organ (that takes on some Canterbury-like flavours just after the four minute mark as well!). As for the brilliantly titled closer `The Boundless Scenery of the Spheres', solo violin is slowly joined by the rest of the band to offer a series of joyful and soaring themes full of heart and hope, with a slightly eerie break in the middle to ensure the piece never becomes overly sweet or completely safe.

But the focal point of the majority of the disc is the 42 minute, four-part suite `The Thing (that is Constant)'. The longer running times of each section allows the pieces to develop more carefully, meaning less darting style changes and unhurried, more dramatically satisfying compositions. The opening passage `Glacier Blue' alone runs for 11 minutes, bookended with a glorious violin theme over rambunctious drums and sparkling piano that sneaks off into a spacey keyboard shimmer and brisk Canterbury-styled Hammond break in the middle. There's some darker gothic moods of second movement `The Versatile', all icy piano and sinister creeping violin that gives way to the light of uplifting and mellow symphonic themes with a steady Pink Floyd-like beat, and `Beyond the Ridge' is devilish and furious, scratchy violin racing alongside rumbling bass and manic drums at a break-neck pace. The 18 minute finale `Cloud 9' sprints through a mix of new ideas as well as reprising themes from earlier on in new interpretations, and there's not a single wasted second. Ravishing piano flights of fancy, majestic organ, dignified violin solos that reach symphonic heights as well as any guitar ever could, and there's even playful breaks that include a nimble country hoe-down!

As always, that honed technical precision found in so many intelligent Japanese musicians that perform in jazz and progressive related styles is present, but thankfully PTF's music is still rich with genuine emotion, never turning away from that human touch for even a moment. This follow-up is definitely better balanced than the debut album, lacking quite as much of the overly constant swooning qualities, instead replaced with maturity and sophistication. The entire 59 minute work holds so many strong themes and arrangements that become instantly memorable as soon as you hear them, meaning re- spins quickly allows the listener to focus on how cleverly flowing and impeccably performed and composed the album is. `What is Constant' is truly one of the most dynamic progressive/instrumental/fusion albums of the year from a bunch of exceptional musicians who've now delivered two exquisite works in a row, who will no doubt lift the standard yet again on their next album (but let's give them time to relax after outdoing themselves on this one!)!

Five stars - An essential purchase for violin freaks!

 Percept From ... by PTF album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 25 ratings

Percept From ...
ptf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Out of nowhere came this Japanese quartet in 2009, they most propably were quite known in their homecountry, as they appear to be a very active group in live performances, but it wasn't until 2013, when they came in forefront by Musea.Members were Keisuke Takashima on electric/acoustic violin, Takeya Kito on keyboards, Hiroyuki Ito on bass and Yusuke Seki on drums, they published the first album ''Percept from...'' on Musea's branch label Musea Parallele.Violinist Keisuke Takashima composed all tracks on this effort.

Ptf continue the excellent tradition of violin-driven Japanese Prog groups like KENSO, OUTER LIMITS or MIDAS with some pinches of JEAN-LUC PONTY in the process and present here a delicate and dreamy Symphonic-Jazz Rock with some superb arrangements, beautiful solos and soft rhythms.No fanfares or pyrotechnics, the compositions are carefully arranged till' the last detail, alternating between dramatic sections with really complex musicianship and ethereal melodies with a Classical aura.The short pieces are pretty great, bass and drums are played with consistency, keyboards are used mostly for background purposes, mainly organ and acoustic/electric piano and Takashima's violin is the driving force without question, monumental performances with great hooks, solos and melodies.But the three long cuts, clockin' at over 10 minutes, are something else, featuring outstanding moods and climates with lots of melancholic tunes, romantic soundscapes and dense instrumental moves.Balanced on the thin line between Symphonic Rock and Fusion, this quartet delivers excellent variations in these cuts, performed like mini-suites and creating very emotional material.Some of the best blends between technical and melodious textures you can find around.

Killer album.Violin-drenched Symph Fusion of the highest calibre, fluid, melodious and slightly virtuosic.Highly recommrended, among the best of the year.

 What Is Constant by PTF album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.87 | 83 ratings

What Is Constant
ptf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by floflo79

4 stars Great. This album is just great. This is jazz rock/fusion at his best. I'm not a big fan of the genre, but this album is really, really good. Two tracks of 7 minutes for the opening and the closing, and one suite of 42 minutes called The Thing, divided into four parts. It's hard to make more progressive. The musicians are awesome, and the compositions are really smart and great. All the fans of JR/F should like, or love, this album which is my favorite album of 2015 for me at this moment. I think that 2015, who already gave great albums in one month, will be a great year for prog.
 Percept From ... by PTF album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 25 ratings

Percept From ...
ptf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars The key word for them is "stability", that should be a hope at the same time, I'd like to say.

ptf are a Japanese jazz rock quartet featuring keyboards, bass, drums, and violin. Through the entire album, we can feel theatrical agency here and there, based upon strict jazz-heavy- mixed rhythm stream. Their debut album "percept from ..." can be thought as a compilation featuring almost all of their works since their formation in 2009.

Their good point is that the listeners or the audience cannot feel eccentricity via their complex song structure completely veiled with natural artificial music science. This phenomenon reminds me Trevor Horn mentioned about Yes that their wrong way to create music magically sounds natural. ptf perfectly squeeze dramatic symphony constructed with only four instruments into our heart. Yusuke's jazz-oriented drum comfort and Hiroyuki's deep, steady bass curtain are the core of ptf soundgarden. Takeya's keyboard, piano works sometimes stand on the front and sometimes behind, with his clearly crystallized sound gems. And Keisuke's violin - one of the key instruments of all - alters the vibe itself dramatically for situations. Sometimes sounds like a dancer to a groove, like a sharp knife edge or a cold ice (reminds me David Cross' cool violin sounds in "The Night Watch"), and sometimes like a noble lady walking quietly. On the basis of jazz symphonic, their scape can be easy to absorb, despite of a bit long (about 10 minute) song theatres.

Their strong intention for this album is obvious ... we can find easily in the first track "Arc Tailor", where the mixture of pop phrases created with Keisuke's violin winds and innovative sensations along with their deep rhythm section. Sounds like their innovation is heard as simpler, smoother one rather than "progressive". "Firefly Effect" sounds like a flood of critical phases and magnificent blue, bluesy atmosphere, that can be well-expressed with their fantastic instrumental explosion. "Fair Wind" is an aggressive speedy symphonic heavy rock, that can get popular amongst almost all progressive freaks, methinks. On the contrary, a slow ballad (featuring keenly electronic violin shoots in the middle part) "Chromatic Rays", filled with safe and sound, wraps our lonesomeness up with their hearty rays. Until the last dramatic versatility "Seaward Meteor", their sound compilation "kaleidoscopic wind of change", they launch drastic dramatic music rebellion.

Whilst to be honest, there might be a problem in their promising album, let me point out. They play smartly "art rock" with well-balanced instrumental formation so that complex rhythms or eccentric riffs are not needed. Some inorganic polyrhythmic riffs can be heard but they are too artificial (not artistic) to be fit for their musical basis. Looks like they overreacted for digesting progressive rock in their stomach, and disturbed the smooth surface of their soundscape ... it's a pity for me. Yeah hope they would shout they are progressive rock haters (lol). ...Joking aside, they should go ahead as an jazz / art rock project, not as a "non-innovative" progressive rock one, because they are so artistic enough to impress us.

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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