MUSIC FOR YOUR EARS | REVIEW Soulless City (Lauer Remix) By The Badly Behaved

Soulless City (Lauer Remix) by The Badly Behaved is a masterful mélange of
synth-pop and electronic dance music that pays homage to the haunting and dystopian
atmosphere of Alex Proyas’ 1998 neo-noir film, Dark City. The Berlin-based synth
band, consisting of vocalist Colé van Dias and producer Richard von Kalmar, has
crafted a track that not only encapsulates the essence of the film’s bleak and mysterious
setting but also infuses it with a dynamic and infectious energy.
The song begins with a brooding introduction, immediately setting a dark and
foreboding tone that mirrors the perpetual darkness of the film’s cityscape. The synth-
drenched melodies and harmonies are complemented by a strong, driving bassline and
crisp percussion, creating a soundscape that is both immersive and appealing. The
track’s BPM of 116 keeps the pace brisk, ensuring that the listener remains engaged
from start to finish.
One of the most distinctive features of Soulless City is its clever use of key
changes. The verses are steeped in a sombre and melancholic atmosphere, representing
the darkness that engulfs the city’s inhabitants. As the song transitions into the chorus,
the key change introduces a sense of upliftment and hope, akin to the fleeting glimpses
of light in the otherwise dark world of Dark City. This musical contrast effectively
mirrors the thematic elements of the film, creating a powerful auditory narrative.
Philipp Lauer’s remix adds a fresh and dynamic layer to the original
composition. Known for his ability to transform tracks with his unique touch, Lauer
introduces a reversed bassline that seamlessly transitions into the energetic and uplifting
chorus. The use of a vocoder on Stewart Irving’s and Richard von Kalmar’s vocals adds
a futuristic twist, enhancing the track’s overall otherworldly vibe.
The production quality of Soulless City (Lauer Remix) is top-notch. The mix is
clear and well-balanced, allowing each element to shine without overpowering the
others. The electronic bassline is infectious, driving the track forward, while the synth
melodies weave in and out, creating a rich and textured sound. The percussion is sharp
and precise, providing a solid foundation for the track’s rhythmic structure.
The Badly Behaved has a history of pushing boundaries with their music, and
Soulless City is no exception. This release follows their critically acclaimed studio
album Who am I? from May 2022, which featured a chart-topping remix of Runaway by
Philipp Lauer. Their innovative approach was also evident in their September 2023
release, a reimagining of Bobby Orlando’s 1980s classic She Has A Way, and their
spiritually infused electronic track Govinda Jaya Jaya in late 2022.
Soulless City exemplifies The Badly Behaved’s ability to evolve and adapt,
consistently delivering fresh and exciting music. Their dedication to blending the
nostalgic sounds of synthpop with contemporary electronic elements results in a track
that is both timeless and modern.

To conclude, Soulless City (Lauer Remix) by The Badly Behaved is a standout
track that masterfully combines dark, dystopian themes with an uplifting and energetic
musical arrangement. The intricate production, clever use of key changes, and
compelling remix by Philipp Lauer make this song essential for fans of synth-pop and
electronic music. It’s a powerful and thought-provoking piece that demonstrates the
band’s high level of creativity and musical prowess. Whether you’re a fan of the
original Dark City film or simply appreciate well-crafted electronic music, Soulless City
is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Review made by Lucy Cicioni