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Spin XXI

Symphonic Prog

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Spin XXI Contraponto album cover
3.69 | 30 ratings | 7 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sensações Diversas (7:04)
2. Buscando Algo De Novo (10:18)
3. Conflitantes Paranóias
Part 1 Sec. XX (10:54)
Part 2 Sec. XXI (4:48)
4. Ventos Do Passado (7:43)

Total time: 42:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Kakao Figueiredo / Vocals and occasional instruments
- Tatoo Magdalena / Guitars, violins and vocals
- Eraldo Marcio Correa / Keyboards
- Sylvio Sa Correa / Drums and percussion
- Marcello De Alexandre Venancio / Bass, bass pedals, violins and vocals

Releases information

Rock Symphony RSLN 130 / Musea Records FGBG.AR

Thanks to erik neuteboom for the addition
and to progshine for the last updates
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SPIN XXI Contraponto ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SPIN XXI Contraponto reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars A few weeks ago I set up a thread entitled "Is South-America becoming the new progrock leader?" It was visited well and especially my fellow collaborators from that continent joined it with enthousiastic and also proud comments! Well the story continues because after GALF, Tarkus, Diapasao and Astralis, here's another new and interesting South-American progrock formation, the five piece band Spin from Brazil. The four melodic compositions (between 7 and 11 minutes) on this debut CD sound very tasteful, elaborate and alternating and you will find some interesting musical ideas.

1. Sensaçoes Diversas (7.04) : We can enjoy very pleasant symphonic prog featuring sensitive electric guitar, wonderful modern keyboards and passionate native vocals with a slightly theatrical undertone. The climates range from dreamy with acoustic guitar to mid-tempo with organ and propulsive guitar and bombastic with a lush keyboard sound.

2. Buscando Algo De Novo (10.18) : This varied song contains a mid-tempo with fluent interplay between guitar and keyboards, again those passionate vocals, a beautiful part with acoustic guitar overdubs, orchestral keyboards and an up-tempo rhythm with catchy synthesizer flights and quite raw and heavy guitar play. The music reminds me frequently of 70-77 Genesis because of the Banks-like organ and ARP Pro Solist synthesizer sound, Hackett-inspired guitar work (including volume pedal) and the bass pedals.

3. Conflitantes Paranoias:

Parte 1 Sec XX (10.54) : Some musical surprises with jazzy piano and wah-wah guitar, then wonderful parts featuring classical guitar and Grand piano and in the end a fluent rhythm with flashy synthesizer runs.

Parte 2 Sec XXI (4.48) : The first part contains acoustic rhythm guitar and dreamy vocals, then it becomes more compelling with great keyboards, howling guitar and bass pedals and the final part delivers breathtaking choir-Mellotron samples and strong vocals, very moving!

4. Ventos Do Passado (7.43) : This final track sounds a bit folky with warm acoustic guitar and passionate vocals, halfway blended with slow synthesizer flights, very tasteful.

I am sure that this wonderful symphonic prog album will please many progheads, recommended!

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Contraponto is a fair debut for a band now with more than 30 years "on the road" and it's a pity they stayed for so a long time freezing since the musical quality and skill of their members is blatantly noticeable.

That said, I enjoyed particularly band musicianship, however I have to confess that vocals annoyed me a bit - singer should avoid the overextension of the final R, a characteristic of the carioca accent (I am myself a carioca, native of Rio de Janeiro, and I know how this feature sounds quaint when singing, although it may sound tasteful in a day-to-day conversation). He should sing in a more relaxed way, perhaps we may hear it in their next album - I'm pretty sure it'll be produced soon.

'Sensações diversas', the opening track has an EL&P-type intro going quickly to a YES-like segment that keep the hearer's attention. The middle section shows band's signature with massive instrumentation where guitar and keyboards overrule, vocals here are correct and the song flows brightly, almost brilliantly.

'Buscando algo de novo', the following track, starts with fine fingerstyled tunes soon replaced by a nice keyboard action; then comes the spoken lyrics that add very few to the general pleasant atmosphere; the following singing part is interesting even sporting my abovementioned annoyance. Anyway, when the instruments take control of the song, the result is great. Synthesizer multiple solos are really exceptional.

'Conflitantes paranóias' is a kind of short epic, split into 2 tracks. Lyrics are more than average but again there's no need to extend the final R. Part 1 has some enjoyable moments even being excessively lengthy and sometimes repetitive, but the theme grows steadily at Part 2, with an overall grandiose band effort.

'Ventos do passado' closes the album in a good manner, a real catchy song. It disputes with the opening track the title of being album's highest point.

As a final word, I'd like to state that my criticism to the singing work has more to do with the treatment given to the songs than with the singer himself - in this case, a clear production flaw. SPIN XXI's singer has a powerful voice with a nice timbre that should be better conducted. I hope this minor issue could be solved in their next production.

Considering that tracks are agreeable to listen to, the band's highly qualified instrumentation and mainly the history behind the scenes, I rate this album as a good addition even non-essential. Total: 3.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Spin XXI (the refurbished name for the refurbished veteran Brazilian band Spin) managed, with the release of their album "Contraponto", to take revenge against the forces of Fate that had prevented them from releasing anything during their seminal years in the distant 70s. What we have here is an attractive and effective catalogue of symphonic prog pieces heavily inspired by the evocative magic of vintage Genesis and the peculiar colorfulness of Yes (in their Wakeman-eras). You can also notice some added touches of Camel's melodic sense, which allow the guitar and keyboard input provide an energetic dynamics to the main compositional ideas. Spin XXI's offering is very closely related to your regular symphonic rock bands from Latin America, but keep in mind that these guys are real children of the 70s and not mere revivalists. Well, the album's first 17 minutes are occupied by 'Sensaçoes Diversas' and 'Buscando Algo de Novo'. The opener bears a very catchy feel, something that the Genesis/Yes fan will find quite appealling. The optimistic vibe is consistntly continued by the second track, which is also longer and more sophisticated. This one is particularly featured by the emergence of excellent guitar and keyboard leads, full of virtuosity without getting into exaggerated pyrotechnics. The rhythm section works perfectly well, sustaining the dynamics of the rockier sections and the relaxing mood of the softer ones. That being said, it would be accurate to note down that the motif shifts are more recurrent than the rhythm changes - the band is clearly interested in keeping a constraint profile regarding the expansion of the musical ideas. That is tru even for their most ambitious number, the 2-part suite 'Conflitantes Paranoias'. Filling a 15 3/4 minute span, this piece finds the band working at the top of their creative strength in order to complement teh rockier sections and the acoustic moments in a cohesive marriage. For the acoustic moments, the instrumentation is based on dual acoustic guitars or interactions between violao and guitar, which creates a genuine bucolic spectrum. The final section is a well accomplished climax: those soaring guitar lines (very Hackettesque) find an adequate match in the keyboard adornments in the development of the solemn motif. This could have been a great closure for the album, but this specific privilege is for 'Ventos do Passado'. For this one, Spin XXI decided to focus on their pastoral side making a mixture of acoustic Hackett and Renaissance 70s ballad, with a touch of Wakeman in the keyboard department. Even though "Contraponto" feels a bit too short, it must be regarded as an excellent item for any good symphonic prog collection - Spin XXI vindicated themselves gloriously with thsi album.
Review by CCVP
4 stars Surprises, surprises and more surprises.

I am, from time to time, awestruck with some albums that I have. This is one of them.

Spin XXI is the debut of a band that is over 35 years old, hailing from the city of Niterói, on the state of Rio de Janeiro. They were pretty famous in Niterói and Rio back in their time, specially for their legendary live shows. Spin's bootlegs were known in the city's prog circles, despite not being broadly available. Only recently, however, the band had the oportunirty to record an official album.

When I first had the opportunity to buy their album (really, really cheap by the way) and listen to it, I was really not impressed. In fact, I hated the album. I did everything I could to get my money back, but because it was sold with a mega discount, one of the rules of such enormous discount was that the CDs/DVDs bought could not be returned. Sure it was kind of bad, but the album was so cheap that I just conformed myself and put that album in the shelf for a long time.

More than two years after buying the album, and still having mostly bad memories about it, I decided to give it another spin, and to my surprise, the album that once was one of my least favorite ever did not sounded as bad anymore. The features which I considered negative back then were not as offensive to my ears and some even started sounding good, believe it or not. Maybe roaming more into the world of progressive rock music allowed me to appreciate more different kinds of that kind of music, but who knows? Maybe their music just needed the right time to settle down and be propperly appreciated, like so many other albums.

One of the main problems that I had was their instrumental work. It does not fit with any specific pre-existing progressive rock pattern. They aren't similar to any big band. They are symphonic alright, but they sound like themselves, period. Also, their music is not something that you can fall in love at first sight (at least for me and for most people that I know). The mix of progressive rock, brazillian rock and ethnic music they do does not help in classifying them, making their music even more unique.

The vocals are quite different too. Firstly because they are not propperly sung. The vocalist does something between speaking words (as if he was reading a poetry) and singing. Definitely not a common thing. Secondly the vocalist's accent is really, really strong, and strong accents are never good.

Now I think that most of those issues (both regarding their music and the vocals) are actually positive. The unlikeness of the band's music makes it quite interesting to listen and the unusual vocals add another positive point in their favor. The accent still sound pretty bad, however.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Listening to this album recently has been an incredibly good positive surprise. The last place which I expected to see such a great display of progressive rock was all this time resting in my CD shelf.

If you are interested in listening to some unique progressive rock with a 70's twist, go and get this album! Therefore, the rating must be 4 stars.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Spin XXI is one of the intresting prog acts coming from Brazil in last decade with one album released so far. They are little known outside of their country, but in Brazil they have a live cult status, they are active since mid '80s going under different names and performed at many many festivals. First album issued in 2006 named Contaponto is a great symphonic prog album with that typical latin feel remind me of Le Orme or O Terco but also from british school like Yes for example. Also they have a sighty theratrical aproach in places not far from Ange, special in vocal department. The music is tastfully done, lots of excellent moments here, melodic guitars, running keyboards and to me a very solid vocal parts. Even for many the vocal arrangements are the weakest point of the album, I really like it thetrical vocal lines sung in portugues is not every day I heare, really good job from Kakao Figueiredo, fitinh perfectly into this kind of music. Quite complicated symphonic prog with elaborated passages like on Buscando Algo De Novo, maybe the best tune of the album. Overall an excellent band and album, to unnoticed worlwide, this album definetly show a mature work , in many parts reminescent of glory days of the 70. I like it a lot and for that 4 stars, nice art work.

Latest members reviews

3 stars More good news from Brazil. This album has been in my collection for some time before I gave it some spins. A lot of spins, in fact. The music is very pleasing to the ear. It is also pretty generic symphonic prog in the vein of Genesis. Make that; Peter Gabriel and Genesis at their most theat ... (read more)

Report this review (#257080) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, December 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Don't believe the presentation of the band in this site: Spin XXI's sound is totally regressive. There's nothing new or particularly contemporary in their music. That said, I must confess that this is a wonderful symphonic prog album. Keyboards remind me the italian greats, specially Le Orme and ... (read more)

Report this review (#165762) | Posted by moodyxadi | Saturday, April 5, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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