Sultan and Ned Shepard are no strangers to collaboration, but throw Funkagenda in the mix, and somehow the room just got that much bigger. I’m talking about Past Dreaming, the latest progressive house fusion creation by these three diverse masters. You rarely hear Ned Shepard without Sultan, and understandably so–after they met in 2003 at one of Sultan’s DJ gigs, they seemed to never travel far apart. Releasing tracks under the name Jiva, the two blended Sultan’s rock and DJing background with Shepard’s piano chops to bang out some powerful melodies. “Ned is like the younger brother I never had,” says Sultan. “On a musical level we read each other perfectly. I can be in one room playing my guitar, he can be in another playing the piano and just by listening to what we are both playing we can flow and play along with each other for hours. It’s not every day that you meet someone who you can really connect with both mentally and musically.”
With such collaborative energy, Funkagenda appears to be the third wheel, but this addition really gives the track the energetic edge it needs. Think back on the hard bass and cutting synth of Astana, and blend it with some of those traditional, trancey melodies that got you into electronic music in the first place. That’s Past Dreaming.