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“Spark: A Burning Man Story” Soundtrack Review

Recently released in select cities across the United States, Spark: A Burning Man Story, is a documentary chronicling the annual gathering of 60,000 people on that playa in Nevada, Burning Man. To go along with the film they released a two-disc soundtrack including artists such as Diplo, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and Michael Franti & Spearhead, capturing the weird, positive, and funky vibe the festival perpetuates.

The discs are divided into Day and Night, with Day featuring more of an upbeat vibe over lush, sometimes acoustic soundscapes, while Night contrasts going vun deepah exploring more genres of electrionic music and remixing tracks from Day.

Rudimental’s “Feel the Love” opens Day, a drum n bass tune that warms your soul with its heartfelt lyrics and the most well placed trumpet solo you could imagine. My friend who’s in the room as I write this blurted “I fuckin love that song,” three seconds after I hit play, those of you who heard it know, if you haven’t you’ll soon understand.

The disc continues with dreamy and beautiful contributions from Cazzette and Tycho, before shifting gears with Michael Franti & Spearhead’s bubbly and liberating “Let It Go,” with lyrics invoking a bunch of sand covered burners losing their happy shit on the playa.

I watched Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s livestream performance of the apt “Man on Fire” at Bonnaroo and came away slightly reborn after focusing (sometimes too much) on electronic music the past couple years. The unifying melodies of this song tug the feels that make me want to take my pilgrimage to the Burn sooner than later.

Amanda Palmer’s acoustic “In My Mind” contributes the most profound lyrics in the disc and exudes a positivity that people undoubtedly look for with their Burning Man experiences.

Scoredraw’s second track on the disc concludes Day with more happy-go-lucky handclaps and serves as a short interlude to the electronic dominance that is Night. Stanton Warriors remix of Franti’s earlier track gives it a fresh breakbeat spin, while Adam Freedland’s “Man On Fire” remix supercharges the original with a funky disco house beat that had me repeat this 8 minute track a few times.

Diplo’s twerkolutionary track “Express Yourself” makes an appearance, and Spain’s Alejandro Rojo aka Columbo supplies two tracks that if this is what the filmmakers want you to hear to pair with night time visuals of the festival, it sounds like one helluva good time.

Joe Smooth’s “Promised Land” might sound familiar to anyone who played GTA: San Andreas and tuned into the game’s house music radio station. It caps off the album with more of the funk and positivity that resonated throughout.

Good for both chillin or partying, Spark’s soundtrack does a great job capturing the sentiments I’ve heard everything Burning Man is all about. I missed the chance to see this film during its short run in New York City so I might have to take to our friend the Internet to remedy that soon..


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