Although the sound of once-revered ‘soulful’ house producers might have fallen out of favour with the underground dance music press, the success of Ralf GUM’s new album Never Leaves You proves that the art of song writing, arrangement and live instrumentation will always cut through the trends of the day.

After frustrating experiences dealing with record labels in the late 90s, GUM founded GOGO Music, an outlet that would allow him full artistic freedom without having to shape his productions to mimic these latest trends. It also allowed room for artist development, a luxury rarely afforded to new signings in today’s fast paced musical climate.

Gentle segues between the tracks give a flow and structure that eludes the majority of house music long players; the extended format allowing for GUM to stretch out and explore different styles from his studio repertoire. Guests on the album include house music veterans Kenny Bobien and Robert Owens, alongside the two-time Grammy Award-winning UK vocalist who recently rejoined the Soul II Soul sound system, Caron Wheeler. The album’s collaborative chemistry is at its most potent though when GUM is joined by previous studio partner Monique Bingham. The sparse rhythm track of ‘Take Me To My Love’ is brought to life by her irresistible timbre in the album’s understated climax that has been riding the Traxsource charts for the past eight weeks.

GUM is currently residing and touring in South Africa with Monique Bingham to promote Never Leaves You, a follow up to his first SA tour in 2008 where he was the first German DJ to play in several countries on the trip, including Botswana and Swaziland. Check out the remaining dates on his Facebook artist page here.