First Listen: Ralf GUM feat. Monique Bingham – Take Me To My Love (Louis Benedetti Vocal Mix) (GOGO Music)
15 years! Another sign as to how time flies so quickly. With so many things that have happened inbetween. Beginning with the drastic change of our environment and the advent of the digital. Even though the good ol’ vinyl hasn’t totally disappeared from the radars. 15 years which have seen German producer Ralf GUM establishing himself in the first league. With his label highly considered as synonymous with quality material. And ‘Take Me To My Love’ standing among its definitive highlights.
‘Go!!!’, a 23 piece collection, recaptures some of the best chapters in the history of GOGO Music. Such as this outstanding collaboration between GUM and Monique Bingham. The twosome delivering the sultry ‘Take Me To My Love’ back in 2012. With this Louis Benedetti remix standing as one of the numerous icings on the cake. Givin’ it a brilliant reorchestration enhancing its delicacy…
Take me to my love… Hard resisting to such an invitation. Don’t you think?
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– Monique Bingham has delivered some of the most poignant soulful Jazz-infused House Music gems of the past 20 years…
Her career began with Acid Jazz band Abstract Truth in 1995 at François K‘s Axis studios. The first single, ‘Get Another Plan’, received international critical acclaim. Gilles Peterson eventually pickin’ it up for his UK imprint, Talkin’ Loud, the year after.
Its follow up, ‘We Had A Thing’, which she penned and performed, is another indisputable Soulful Jazz House classic. A gem that owes a lot to Matthias Heilbronn’s infectious remixing work.
Once injected into the veins of the underground, Ms. Bingham’s penchant for painstakingly crafted lyrics put her in a class by herself. In addition to her work with Abstract Truth she went on to solo performances with Blue Six. But also Sir Piers (cf. ‘American In Chelsea’), Studio Apartment and Liquid People.
She has also worked with some of the House scene’s most respected DJ’s/producers… Quentin Harris (cf. ‘Poor People’), Kerri Chandler, and Ralf GUM. Her writing skills brought her to the attention of Jellybean Benitez. The latter signing her to his NYC publishing house in 2008.
In 2009 and 2010 she released songs with Karizma and Osunlade. Then with Phil Asher and Bah Samba.
In 2011, Monique completed her first self-produced single, ‘You.Me.World’. A song which she released on her own record label, Bigga Sounds. That same year also saw her coming for the first time to South Africa. There she performed at the 12th annual Capetown International Jazz Festival. Sharing a bill with luminaries such as Wayne Shorter and Earth, Wind & Fire! Subsequent tours throughout S.A., Botswana and Lesotho have confirmed her as one the country’s most respected underground artists.
Her 2012 collaboration with Ralf GUM, ‘Take Me To My Love’, turned into a runaway hit worldwide. It garnered 500,000 plus YouTube hits as of this writing. She also happened to be the first ever non-South African artist to perform live for a television audience of over 10 million viewers. This was at the 12th annual Metro FM Awards in 2013 where her song, ‘Pride’. A performance which helped DJ Pepsi snag the award for House Album of the year.
In 2014, Monique came to collaborate with one of the world’s greatest living Jazz legends, “Bra” Hugh Masakela. She therefore penned ‘With Her Hand’ along with Ralf GUM for his sophomore album, ‘In My City’. A song about about the late human rights icon Nelson Mandela passing in the presence of Winnie Mandela. The latest single release with Ralf GUM, ‘The Pap’, received international critical acclaim too. And it reinforced her love of and contribution to South Africa’s explosive House Music scene.
Monique celerated her 2 decades in the recording industry back in 2015 with the release of ‘Best Of Last’. An antholgy featuring a host of classic and rare tracks as well as new music. From ‘Deep In The Bottom (Of Africa)’ with Black Coffee. To ‘Gets You Off’ with remix courtesy of Rocco. And also Chymamusique‘s reinterpretation of ‘Bloody Lucky’ to name a few.
Monique Bingham remains one of the most interesting and enduring artists the New York City underground has ever produced. “It’s weird. After 20 years of making music and being on the road, I almost feel like I’m just getting started. I have so much more to say and in some ways I’m more excited now than I was back in ’95. The future is wide open.” she says…
– Gene Douglas, but also Jan ‘Yannick’ Elverfeld, Lars and Marek Bartkuhn aka Needs, Mousse T… Not that many are the ones who served as the ambassadors of House Music in Germany back in the 90’s. With Ralf GUM adding his name to the list with his weekly residency in the Würzburg area. Then givin’ birth to his GOGO Music label back in 2001. Eventually delivering his first single for the label – ‘Nobody Can Touch Me’ – the year after. And God only knows how, from then on, he would establish himself and his stable among the most respected forces in the circuit. One step after another…
Speakin’ of his label, he would be for much in the progressive recognition of Phil Kullmann aka Raw Artistic Soul. But also standing among the first ones to have released a production by the likes of South Africa’s famous Black Coffee (cf. ‘Turn Me On’ feat. Bucie) back in 2009. Meanwhile, as a producer he came to collaborate with countless luminaries along with time. From Monique Bingham on the 2008 released ‘Kissing Strangers’. The first in a series comprising ‘Take Me To My Love’ and ‘The Pap’ among others… To Robert Owens (‘Fly Free’). Progressively establishin’ a strong connection with the South African scene and artists like Bucie, Zano, Brian Tempa and Sir LSG. Enough at the end to give him the will to relocate to Johannesburg along with his family in 2012.
‘In My City’, his third album, most likely came as a celebration of this new life of his. Seeing him sharing the duties with the legendary Hugh Masekela (on ‘With Her Hand’ and ‘In The City’). But also welcoming Omar (‘Love Core’), Monique Bingham (‘The Pap’) and Portia Monique (‘Free (Is All I Wanna Be)’). Not to mention Dele Sosimi (‘Bi Na Ba N’Jo’).
Although no date has been officially announced, a new album by the likes of Ralf GUM should see the light in 2018. Meanwhile ‘We Repeat’ along with Paul Randolph has all the ingredients to help us holdin’ the line until then…
As you might have guessed, it has taken more time to put this new album together. But the wait is now over with ‘Progressions’ available from March 01, 2019. A new effort out of which first came ‘Uyakhala’ as an appetizer with Ralf GUM sharing the duties with Mafikizolo. With obviously more to come during the months to come.