Goldie got Break to remix “Inner City Life.” Where did it go?

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you, with out some fresh beats to step to. (Or whatever the TikTok DnB kids do these days; more on that in the future. Hopefully.) Shouts to folks adding my email to their mailing lists or shooting tunes my way. Speaking of email, I sent over a bunch of links to myself on the 3rd of January with the hopes that, at the time, I’d be able to write this post accompanied by the full length YouTube embed of Break’s remix of “Inner City Life,” the single from Goldie’s debut album Timeless that destroyed my mind. Alas, one week later, and my plans got flipped, turned upside down. I would prefer if you chilled with me for a minute; please, just sit right there. Let me attempt to explain the situation with said remix.

Living free

It really was all good just a week ago. I happened upon a post on Facebook from the homie I-Witness about Break’s remix of “Inner City Life,” which had apparently been available to stream on YouTube since some time around Christmas of 2022, although having been uploaded to YouTube back in July of 2022. Here is a screengrab of the YouTube page.

A screengrab of the now-unavailable (and unlisted) YouTube video of Break’s remix / YouTube

As you can see, it’s Unlisted (which it’d always been, at least since I found the link) with over two thousand views, and has an upload date of July 28, 2022. At the time, I wanted to document what was there during the time; I promise you that there was a “2022-12-25” release date indicated in there; it was the entire premise of I-Witness’ conversation—what was the status of the remix? If it was still streaming, why hadn’t it been uploaded to the Metalheadz store or Bandcamp or Beatport, Juno, or other DSPs? At the time, I figured “hey, Christmas was a week ago—if they weren’t going to release it, why would the video still be up?”

Future khal: always get the screengrab.

What’s the big deal about this Break remix anyways?

Oh, I thought you’d never ask! There’s been quite an interesting history of remixes of Goldie’s seminal tune. (That’s why I sent myself the aforementioned email.) Being a huge fan of “Inner City Life” (and a kid who actually lived life in the inner city), I remember borrowing a friend’s copy of this Innercitylife (The Remixes) CD maxi-single. Not only did it include this 4 Hero edit (which was more like a headier dub of the main themes of the single, taking you into the depths of the concrete jungle), but also let Peshay get busy.

If I knew then what I knew now, I’d be pissed; there was a Roni Size “Instant” mix and a remix from Nookie of “Inner City Life” floating about. (I ended up properly discovering Roni Size, Reprazent, and the V Recordings crew during one rainy Thursday at Princeton Record Exchange in 1997. After school, I went there and copped New Forms and V Classic, Vol. 1 on CD. Amazing night of purchases, TBH.) For the 25th anniversary of “Inner City Life” in 2020, dBridge was called on to bring some ‘Sonic Nostalgia’ to the tune.

All of these remixes knock; Goldie called on the right producers to bring their vision to his gem, and they all delivered. If Goldie wanted to end things with dBridge’s version, that would be great! (Hopefully Doc Scott doesn’t let anyone else touch “Shadow Boxing” after what Om Unit did.) That said, Break took the tune to new heights. Isolating Diane Charlamagne‘s “living free” and wrapping that in the synths of the original took me back. Similar to his remix of Dillinja’s “Hard Noize,” Break has a way of updating classics for the modern era is second to none. And he knows his way around a bassline; apparently posting his DJ Die collab “Slow Down” on Twitter is an issue.

Was it a Christmas miracle?

To keep it a buck, I’ve been busy. In 2022 I lost a job, got a new job, and have been trying to figure out how to stay sane while life constantly shifts and evolves. It was dope to see that, in the midst of so much turmoil and nonsense at the top of 2023, there was this massive Break rework of one of my favorite tunes of all time. The thing is, just like many of the dubplates I’ve heard and tried to track down over the almost three decades I’ve been into dnb, I don’t always get the info. The tune may stay unknown, or have been lost to time. This Break remix is (was?) right there, with a “release date” and everything in the description. We almost had it all. What went wrong?

It’s hard to say. Twitter queries are full of people talking about the remix being dope, but contain no real info from Metalheadz, Goldie, or anyone who may actually have the info I need. Maybe—just like that Voltage remix of Dillinja’s “Acid Trak” that’s still on dubplate—we won’t get this tune any time soon. And I’m OK with that.

But please, if you’re going to throw the tune up on YouTube, to the point where it can accumulate over two thousand views? Maybe at least give a sliver of info about the tune. Or you can just let the mystery be.

Do you have any info on Break’s “Inner City Life” remix? Shout us an email: [email protected].

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