Ali Nurhak – Nation

When Ben Prada played this track in one of his mixes, people wondered “**** me, who is this guy?!” Well, his name is Ali Nurhak and he lives in the touristic side of Turkey (Antalya).
He produces deep and tech house music since 2014 and “Nation” it’s his first release on UGR. Taking samples from Roland Clark speech of the same name, Ali manages to weave a delicate balance between the hard hitting bass and RC powerful and emotive speech to somehow create a dance track perfectly crafted for the dance floor.

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SonnyB – Sensational

SonnyB is at it again! It’s time to drink up and jump up, scream for a rewind to one of the bounciest grooves on the nu garage circuit right about now.

“Sensational” causing great public interest and excitement already. Is certainly not Shakespeare in the lyric department but who cares when it ruthlessly lobotomises you once you succumb to its simple but deadly groove.

SonnyB has done a great job with this track, although the timing wasn’t very good as the Summer is gone, it still makes you go back a few months and feel that summer breeze.

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Music Makes You a Better Reader, Says Neuroscience

It’s known as the “musician’s advantage.”

For decades, educators, scientists, and researchers have observed that students who pick up musical instruments tend to excel in academics—taking the lead in measures of vocabulary, reading, and non-verbal reasoning and attention skills, just to name a few. But why musical training conferred such an advantage remained a bit of a mystery.

Nina Kraus, director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwester University and research collaborator on the Harmony Project has spent her life surrounded by music. And, today, she is studying how musical training can harness the brain’s natural plasticity, or adaptiveness, to help students become better overall students and readers, even when they grow up in impoverished environments.

The “musician’s advantage,” traditionally, has been difficult to study. Often, musical training is obtained privately in one-on-one instruction—something available only to kids of higher socio-economic status. This meant that researchers couldn’t say for certain whether music was responsible for the better academic outcomes observed or whether some unrelated factor, linked to living in a home in a higher income bracket, was behind any observed difference. After all, more affluent parents are often better educated themselves—and have more time and resources to help children with their reading and school work. Perhaps music wasn’t the true differentiator.

But Kraus remained certain that there was something special about musical instruction. While the brain can change in positive ways in response to any meaningful activity, she believes music offers unique benefits.

Music and language skills rely upon auditory processing. Although reading may not be thought of as a primarily auditory activity, its foundation rests on a child making sense of incoming auditory input in order to map speech sounds correctly on to orthographic representations,” says Kraus. “Many of the same aspects of sound processing that are deficient in children with language and learning impairments have been found to be strengthened in those who receive music training, and music-based interventions have demonstrated some success in the re-mediation of reading problems, too.”

Kraus wondered if, perhaps, the right intervention might be able to confer the “musician’s advantage” to children in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Her past research demonstrated that living at the poverty level has profound consequences for the brain. Children from impoverished backgrounds show much poorer neural encoding of sound, which leads to less efficient and “noisier” auditory processing. And that, Kraus says, has the power to negatively impact literacy skills.  But what if music could intervene and change that?

To find out, Kraus and her colleagues recruited students at an inner-city Chicago high school and matched them on reading ability, IQ and the speed at which their auditory nerves activate.  She placed half the students in a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Course. The other half joined a music training program, focusing on sight reading, playing technique, and musical performance.  When she looked at their brain’s ability to encode speech two years later, she found a profound difference: the kids who were trained in music were able to show faster responses to a speech-in-noise stimulus. Their brains, it would seem, had adapted and improved.  And it was music that made the difference.

We’ve added a critical new chapter to the story about music and education,” says Kraus. “Due to the overlap between neural circuits dedicated to speech and music, and the distributed network of cognitive, sensorimotor, and reward circuits engaged during music making, it would appear that music training is a particularly potent driver of experience-dependent plasticity in the brain that influences processing of sound related to academics.”

And those effects may reach far beyond high school. Benjamin Rich Zendel, a neuroscientist at the University of Montreal, found that musical training is also a boon to the ageing brain—allowing elderly persons with musical training to better differentiate speech in noise, indicating that even a small amount of music education can shape neural circuits that will help people better communicate throughout their lives.

This is why Kraus says that it’s even more important that children, of all ages and backgrounds, receive musical training as part of a standard educational curriculum—even as public school budgets are being slashed. “These programs offer the potential to stimulate positive biological changes in neural processes important for everyday communication,” she says. “Educators and legislators can look to our findings with renewed determination. Because accessible community-based music training programs can—and do—promote positive change.”

Scientific Studies on Animals Reveal Just How Much Music Shapes the Natural World

Music seems a more fundamentally human art form than most. It’s home to our most intimate emotions and has such a strong effect on our brain chemistry that it’s addictive. But it isn’t just humans that love music. The science of music’s effect on animals and even plants reveals something startling: It’s not just an art form — it’s essentially a force of nature.

Due in no small part to the frustration of being woken up by an early-rising bird, most of us write off all animal noise as merely irritating. Animals, on the other hand, are empathetic when they listen to cross-species music, and react with emotions and behavior eerily similar to our own. At dog kennels, researchers found that classical musicreduced anxiety in the dogs, helping them sleep more and bark less. Heavy metal, on the other hand, made the dogs bark more, sleep less and shake violently, all symptoms of a true metalhead.

Like dogs, cows also prefer classical music, and will shockingly produce more milk when they are listening to slow jams (music under 100 beats per minute) and less milk when listening to fast music (music over 120 beats per minute). But regardless of an increase in milk production, cows are downright curious about human music, no matter if it’s good or bad.

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Beyond merely appreciating “human music,” animals can actually identify rhythms and even similarities between songs, letting different kinds of music affect their behaviour. One study found that horses can synchronize their pace to the rhythm of music playing in the background, as can sea lions and bonbons. That means that the effect of music runs deeper than just being a pleasant sound

Tamarins, a small monkey in Central and South American rain forests, were actually the first animal studied by researchers to exhibit behaviour directly linked to types of music. A cellist teamed up with a psychologist to create four songs modelled off tamarin vocalizations, two mimicking a tamarin’s distress call and two mimicking the safe and calming call. When the team played the distress call compositions, the monkeys displayed signs of distress, such as shaking their heads, sticking out their tongues and looking around. But when the calming numbers were played, they showed clear signs of calming down, even enjoying the music.

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(Emperor tamarin)

Of course, arguably animals exhibit some other human qualities too. Their taste for music could stem from whatever genetic overlap we find. But the really striking proof that music is something more than a mere human phenomenon comes from the plant world.

Researchers have found that plants grow away from the sound of a chomping caterpillar, and will also grow toward the sound of rushing water. But besides caterpillars and water, music can affect growth in young plants just as it can aid development in human children — and can help farmers and urban gardeners grow bigger crops. Researchers in South Korea found that playing classical music directly triggered growth genes in rice crops. They played Beethoven songs through loudspeakers at rice fields and tracked the results, ruling out light and wind factors and seriously proving that the music was spurring flowering in the rice plants.

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(Rice field at dusk)

It seems clear, then, that music is more of a universal force of expression and care than it is human artifice. That’s the sort of thing that’s intuitive, though, if you take one step beyond Iggy Azalea and look out towards the world. Music is just a relationship between sounds, one that can just as reasonably shape the emotions of humans and animals as it can spur plant growth. We don’t write songs, then; we only ever find them, out and about in the world:

Science Shows How Musicians’ Brains Are Different From Everybody Elses’

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Anyone who spent hours of their young life practising fingerings and drilling scales understands that the tedium is real. Thankfully though, new scientific research has concluded without a shadow of a doubt that all that time and energy was not wasted: Learning to play an instrument is one of the most effective ways to improve the cognitive powers of the mind. You and everyone else who learned to play an instrument as a child is smarter now because of it.

TED Ed recently released the above video detailing some of most cutting edge research on the cognitive benefits you gain just by learning an instrument. Their conclusion: Playing an instrument is exactly like a full brain workout.

The newest research on music and the brain has revealed an amazing connection with memory. Music-learning offers a huge boost to one’s memory faculties. Trained musicians can create, encode and retrieve memories more rapidly and accurately than non-musicians, showing special improvement in verbal memory.

In fact, children with one to five years of musical training were able to remember 20% more vocabulary words read to them off a list than children without such training. That’s especially compelling because highly developed verbal memory skills have numerous applications in non-musical contexts, such as helping students learn and remember more content from speeches and lectures. Musicians who began their training as children have also been shown to learn new languages more quickly.

And, unlike a stint at the gym, the mental gains you make by practicing an instrument don’t disappear easily. Neuroscientists have observed musicians’ brains while they play hooked to EEGs and seen vibrant activity in the visual cortex, as well as the auditory and motor cortices of the brain. A focused regimen of musical practice can cause permanent changes in these neurological structures, which can help people to perform numerous extra-musical tasks more quickly and efficiently for a lifetime. Some combination of the visual benefits and the motor benefits led to Victor Wooten choosing this amazing shirt while playing this incredible cover of “Amazing Grace.”

Music-making engages both halves of the brain equally. By stimulating the left brain, which is the more mathematical, calculating and syntactic hemisphere, and the right, which is the more creative, musicians build a strong corpus callosum, which acts as a neural bridge between the two hemispheres. Musicians who begin their training around 7 years old have a significantly larger corpus callosum than others without the same training. That means that the two halves of musicians’brains can communicate with one another more quickly and along more diverse routes across their expanded corpus callosum. As a result, musicians are more likely to be inventive problem-solvers.

All that plays into the strengthening of the brain’s executive functions, including the ability to strategize, retain information, regulate behavior, solve problems and adjust plans to changing mental demands. The results of one such study on the connections between music training and executive function found increased activity in the supplementary motor area and prefrontal cortex of musicians’ brains, two areas that are often seriously deficient in people suffering from executive function disorders, such as ADHD.

Musical training can therefore be a huge therapeutic tool to helping adults and children  manage and overcome their symptoms.

It’s all remarkable, but the most incredible aspect of all of these studies is the exclusivity of these cognitive benefits to music. No other art form, hobby or activity can produce the same level of lasting neurological benefits as music. And these benefits are never out of reach. Sustaining musical activity into adulthood, or picking up an instrument for the first time, can do wonders to stave off the effects of aging by slowing cognitive decline, decreasing the risk of dementia and improving working memory and motor control.

Think about all that when you’re burrowing into the couch to binge watch Netflix and instead go dig that keyboard out from your closet. Your brain will return the favor somewhere down the line.

By Tom Barnes

Fatboy Slim creates huge human rave smiley face @ Creamfields festival

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Legendary DJ Fatboy Slim created a large smiley face at this years edition of Creamfields music festival in England. He went around the festival camp site in the morning with a megaphone and asked ravers to gather together. Watch the result of this “random act of human smileyness”:

“The Idea came from someone herding sheep into a smiley pattern… Thanks to everyone that took part in this epic Random Act of Smileyness at Creamfields…” – he commented.

The smiley face is an icon of the acid house movement and also acted as a symbol for the growing electronic music movement.

Hardwell sells out German Stadium show in 72 hours!

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Never before has one single DJ achieved filling an entire German Stadium for a solo concert, until now. On Saturday, November 7th 2015, the twice-voted number 1 DJ in the world,Hardwell, will make history in Germany with his “I AM Hardwell – United We Are” Stadium Concert.

Ticket sales started on September 1st at noon, and the result went beyond everyone’s expectations – 72 hours later the “I AM Hardwell – United We Are” Concert was sold out.

This show was initiated for Hardwell to thank his German fans for a fantastic year, which included a headline performance at BigCityBeats’ summer event “WORLDCLUBDOME” in Frankfurt. After his last successful appearances in the country, he felt that the German audience would be ideal for a massive solo show.

The one-off entry price of €19.00 plus a €1.00 donation to Hardwell’s “United We Are”Foundation. was offered to support “The World’s Biggest Guestlist” – an event launched by Hardwell’s United We Are Foundation together with the Indian United Welfare Trust Foundation, to finance the education of children in need in India. Next to the donation, United We Are fans were offered the opportunity to make an additional voluntary donation, which was generously done by many fans!

On November 7th, a nation will unite and score a record for all to see of the biggest DJ solo show in Germany ever…