This week marks three years since the passing of vocalist Diane Charlemagne, at the age of just 51.
Having fronted funk band 52nd Street in the 1980s, Charlemagne also worked with Moby, D:Ream and topped the charts with Urban Cookie Collective, before teaming up with Goldie on what is arguably the most era-defining drum and bass track of all time.
The opening track from Goldie’s Timeless – in fact, Inner City Life just forms part of that album’s sprawling opening track – it is still widely regarded as one of THE dance singles of the 90s, despite not receiving much airplay at the time of its release.
Time Out magazine recently included Inner City Life in its top singles of the 1990s, describing it thus: “Fusing jungle’s intricate breakbeats, sub bass and unbridled futurism with heart-aching soul soundscapes and the lamenting voice of Diane Charlemagne, this beautiful-yet-brutal piece of sonic art switched an entire generation on to the power of jungle and D&B.”
And more than two decades on from its release, the track’s soaring soundscapes, coupled with ethereal vocals from Ms Charlemagne, still captivate.