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Thursday, 31 December 2009

East London Dance's new homepage is pretty



Check it out. Trainers with wings. That's fly.

After several months, the East London Dance (ELD) website has been given a makeover with a design that is second only to ours. Ahem.

Thanks to Hot Pepper Design the website is looking sharp and fresh, and keeps in line with past promotions they've done for ELD - they did the artwork for I Love Dance and Dance Athletic.

All the sections are on the side, and things are really easy to find with colour-coded sections to make things easier to know which section you're in.

It's a simple, intelligent funky design, and we like it!


To see the website for yourself, visit www.eastlondondance.org

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Podcast: Basement Sessions 20 - The Christmas Special

The good people at Basement Sessions have dropped their 20th podcast this week, which coincides with the festive season.

I met these guys at the Brick City Boutique earlier this year, and TooMuchFlavour has featured on some of their podcasts recently.

Our contribution to this episode is an interview conducted by Emma Figuero of HumanBeatbox.com with Reeps One, the UK Beatbox Champion 2009 (read report) talking about what he's been doing since winning the title of champion - he's a deep guy, but I wanted to put the interview where lots of people would be able to listen to it and appreciate it, hence Basement Sessions

On top of that there's a selection of Christmas-related songs and plenty of UK hip hop too.
You can listen to the podcast on the link below.





They've got loads of great shows coming up in 2010 including interviews with Speech Debelle, Sonny Jim, Mystro, DJ Cro and many more so stay tuned! You can click the link to subscribe to listen on the Basement Sessions PodOMatic site here.

Basement Sessions 20 Playlist:
1. Mystro - Mess I Ever Had
2. 810 - The Oath (Prod. by Midus)
3. Roeg Du Casq - Like Us f. Kosyne
4. Kurtis Blow - Christmas Rappin
5. Homeless Genius - Plug One f. Eddie Skratch
6. Team Facelift - No Love
7. Lotek - Ctrl+Alt+Delete
8. Ryan Leslie - Diamond Girl (SirOJ Remix)
===Reeps One Interview by Emma Figeuro for Basement Sessions courtesy of Humanbeatbox.com & Toomuchflavour.co.uk **
9. TY - Oh You Want More
10. Alphabetix - Children
11. Kenn Starr - Coming Of Age '09
12. Homecut - I Don't Even Know f. Soweto Kinch & Corrine Bailey Rae
13. Twizzy - Blessings
14. Kidz In The Hall - We At It Again
15. Souls Of Mischief - Tour Stories
16. Speech Debelle - Searching
17. Run DMC - Christmas In The Hollis

Beats
1. Zircon - Brazil
2. Pushing Buttons - Relax
3. Twelve Original Players - For Maya (during Reeps One Interview)
4. Zircon - Italian (during Reeps One Interview)
5. ZIrcon - Diva (during Reeps One Interview)
6. Twelve Original Players - The Hiatus
7. Twelve Original Players - Forcefield

Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas from TooMuchFlavour to all our readers!

To all our readers,

We'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thank you for your support throughout 2009. It's been a great year.

Enjoy our festive and appropriately flavoursome e-card below.

Warm wishes to everyone. Peace, love, and unity.

The TooMuchFlavour team


Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thanks to MoreThanAStance for linking to the ElfYourself site.

For more Elf Yourself Christmas fun, here's what happened when the elves took over New York City:

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Ballet Boyz N Da Hood - Rite of Spring Review

"Ballet Boyz's Rite of Spring: Extraordinary blend of breakdancing, contemporary fusions, ballroom and poledancing. Splendiforous!"

That's what I would write, but in doing so lose all credibility for running TooMuchFlavour, let alone being able to comment on dance. It was really ballet in gimp costume... No, not really, I'm playing. But not far off.

This is great news to me. A week of Move Like Michael Jackson, then more dance on the Beeb with Ballet Boyz! It's a shame, because it wasn't that memorable after watching it.

Stravinsky: classical composer. Rite of Spring: Classically controversial. So the Ballet Boyz (with a 'Z,' gaining them mad credibility in our book!) decided to bring it back with a contemporary twist. They gathered dancers of different and contrasting styles. And they recruited the help of the Soul Mavericks. Step out of the woodwork, haters! They even met up with them at their London Bridge training sessions too. But didn't show the McDonald's the training studio is above!


In October we met up with Soul Mavericks for the UK B-Boy Championships, watch our interview below



"Stravinsky?" Kevin (aka DJ Renegade) answered when he heard the first few bars of music. Damn, after years on the b-boy scene he even knows his classical composers? "That's easy."

Funny how they can commission a piece of classical music for the programme, but had to use a licensed generic break to dub over for the training session...

So Renegade and the Mavericks get on with choreographing. Quite a challenge, as the piece of music is intricate and detailed with no set rhythm to follow, with climaxes and relaxed moments, but nothing is too hard when you're the crew representing the UK in several breaking competitions.

Then that's all you see of them for a bit. A little rehearsal footage midway in the programme at Laban before performance. You don't even get to see the bit where they slipped B-Boy Junior into the cast. Junior who? 13m views on YouTube Junior...



The producers seemed to have forgotten putting in that minor detail. Of course if you put Junior's style in your piece people will clap, the man defies gravity using his arms to propel him! It did look dope though, although for them to dance on beat when there are no obvious marks in the music isn't worth the criticism; the concept for when they moved and why was there.

It's just a shame that considering there were several different styles of dance here, most of the story of the documentary was spent on meeting the dancers rather than watching the pieces develop. I didn't just want to see DJ Renegade go "We're gonna do an eight there, then you guys do an eight when that bit is done." Whoopee-doo. I wanted to see how our b-boys adapted to the unfamiliar music, then how the contemporary dancers and the poledancers got along together with everyone else to pull the final performance together.

Give me drama dammit, I know what dancers are like, so watch dancers from one style argue with the another that does a different style!

It's not like it's the first time b-boying has been set to classical music. It works, and it works well - check this video. But if you're going to broadcast a show that adapts a controversial ballet, and does so with different styles, show us how it all came together!

Post your comments below

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

B.Supreme Club Night at the Southbank Centre Spirit Room

Even though the B.Supreme Festival was in April (check out our report) you'd be foolish thinking that the dancers are just jamming about waiting for next year's show.

For the first time B.Supreme was hosting a club night at the Southbank Centre, or in the Spirit Room, to be more precise. Probably not the best place to throw a club night with its bare walls causing acoustic problems to the ears, or the children's beanbags and foam chairs laying about. It should probably be labelled a jam night...

Although I wasn't able to stay for the party, I was able to stick around to catch the showcases and battles.

Since the winner of B.Young B.Supreme 2009 was chosen in October, this year's winners, Retaliation Girls, and last year's winner, Stylinquents, have been working on some new and interesting pieces which made a debut that night.

Both Retaliation Girls and Stylinquents will be performing at Kymberlee Jay Presents: Serious About Street Dance in January - click the link for information.

Upon winning B.Young, B.Supreme, the winning group is given a mentor to help them develop. Retaliation Girls were mentored by Boy Blue Entertainment's Kenrick H2O Sandy who devised a piece dedicated to... Whoopie Goldberg!
Yes, it was weird, mixed in with voice samples from the movie Ghost, but it was different, although I'm not sure how much I like it yet.

Stylinquents' new piece was about drug dealing, which took on a more theatrical angle than their other sets, so it involved as much acting as it did dancing. It was dramatic, loud, and rough, with the storyline of drug dealing gone awry, but it suffered from not having enough space to express its meaning in, so hopefully it will be put on stage some time soon.

It was a shame that both the sound was so bad and the performance space was so small, because both performances look really stunted as the dancers tried not to step on people's toes who were sat on the floor watching.

Next was the new style battle to take the coveted title of being the first B.Supreme club night winner. After several rounds of battles in quick succession, it was Koala versus Rebecca "Famous" in the finals, with the judges voting in favour of Koala as the first champion.

While it wasn't an amazing night (£6 a ticket, or £4 when you say the password: Facebook!), it was the first club night B.Supreme have hosted and will hopefully improve as word about them gets around.

The next B.Supreme club night will be announced in the future, so keep checking the B.Supreme website www.bsupreme.co.uk where you can also follow their Twitter updates.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Animaineax win Move Like Michael Jackson!


For several hours we waited in the the BBC Television Centre in White City to be taken into the studios for the live final - a nine o'clock broadcast has to be prepared in advance - we were there at five! I've sat in studio audiences before, but this was long!

Interestingly, as we tweeted earlier, someone who had seen the rehearsals predicted Animaineax would be the winners. They were right!

To see videos, short biographies and links of the Move Like Michael finalists, click here to year our earlier blog.

Ash Mukherjee, Animaineax, Plague and Unity had made the finals of Move Like Michael Jackson. In preparation, all the stops had been pulled out and some of the groups were looking tense, except Animaineax, who were clowning about off camera.


We had a view of the stage from stage right, and it really looked impressive, even with a side view of the action. It's worth noting that some sections of the show were prerecorded, like the Junior Jacksons performance. Sorry to dispel any TV magic...

The dance off
Performancewise everyone looked tight tonight. Unity against classically trained Plague who brought their tap shoes with them made the winner an obvious choice for Jermaine to choose a winner, and it was obvious they wanted to win by bringing their additional game.
That's not to say Unity didn't wreck it, as they did their best set so far.

Animaineax against Ash Mukherjee was a difficult dance off to decide upon a winner. Ash was the only solo act left in the competition, and his style is so different to the street dance competition., while Animaneax came on stage in coourdinating colours and matching chairs, of all things!

Judges Jermaine Jackson and Mark Summers were big on praising all of the acts, and once again, Jamelia didn't have a clue what she was talking about.

But Animaineax's style won over Jermaine's eye, leaving the Philipino superstars up against Plague.
While Plague said "This means everything to us, we came to win," you might not know that Plague have been going for years and are fortunate to have members of the group perform in Las Vegas and have some members in Cirque du Soleil - while Animaineax (as a group) are just over two years old - does your heart go to the already privileged or the underdogs?

All that was left before telephone voting was for the finalists to do a piece of Michael Jackson inspired choreography to a track that wasn't by Michael Jackson to win over the public. Plague chose Daft Punk's Harder Better Faster Stronger while Animaineax went for the less obvious Leona Lewis song, Bleeding Love. Then there was about 20 minutes - yes, 20 minutes - for viewers to cast their votes.

Surprisingly, (because overuse of Leona Lewis's voice induces migraines, not because we don't like them) the public voted Animaineax as the winners. Either the general public has a sharp eye for musicality and original choreography with slick line changes or their fans were voting from inside the studio to have beaten Plague, who used sections of tutting and gumboot choreography from their previous set repertoire to wow the judges, and the voting public. Only no one could vote inside the studio, because there's no signal in there!

So Animaineax will be performing at the Michael Jackson tribute concert next year in front of the world. No doubt their booking fee is going to go through the roof! Not that the prize mattered to them when their names were being read out, as they were all too busy filming the moment with Jermaine Jackson on stage on their colour coordinated iPods!

Unity and Plague will be performing at at Kymberlee Jay's Serious About Streetdance in January, while Animaineax's Mark Calape will be a contestant in January's So You Think You Can Dance on the BBC

A big congratulations to Animaineax for winning Move Like Michael Jackson.

Click the video below to watch Animaineax rehearse their Bleeding Love routine, or double click to view it on YouTube with a choreographical explanation.


Special thank you

For the record, we were meant to go see the Move Like Michael Jackson final after we asked for tickets... but then there was a mix up between one person and the other, so we weren't on the list. If it wasn't for two people dropping out, and another person's help, the journey would have been for nothing.
So a big thank you to TK of TK Spin for hooking us up with show passes... and an ironic sounding thank you to Spin and Carlos Neto for letting me take your place... And apologies for the fraudulent visitor pass we were given!

Don't forget guys, you can catch up with the episodes a week after they've been broadcast on the BBC iPlayer for only one week - click here for the programme guide and catchup links.

We'd love to hear your comments! What do you think of Animaineax winning Move Like Michael Jackson? How about Ash being the only non-streetdancer in the competition, or Plague being runners up!
Leave your comments below!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Move Like Michael Jackson The Final Is Tonight!

It's Sunday and we're at the end of Move Like Michael Jackson. Yes, one week and the series is over already, without having to worry about the winners releasing a Christmas single at the end of it!
In just a few hours the dancer or dance group who is going to perform at the Michael Jackson tribute concert next year will be judged.

Last blog we posted a selection of videos from each of the finalist who are hoping to win tonight: Animaineax, Ash Mukherjee, Plague and Unity. With the public deciding who that winner will be, you better have studied those videos well!

We can't help but feel excited either, because we're going to be in the studio when the winner is announced!
We'll be keeping you up to date if anything interesting happens on Twitter, so search #movelikemichael to keep track.

The live final is at 9pm tonight on BBC3! Eee-hee!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Move Like Michael Jackson - Videos of the finalists Animaineax, Ash Mukherjee, Plague and Unity

Last night the finalists for Move Like Michael Jackson were announced, so today let's take the time to appreciate some of their work.
Here are some videos fresh off YouTube and a few links of  Animaineax, Ash Mukherjee, Plague and Unity if you hadn't seen them before the show


Animaineax
From their MySpace:
ANIMAINEAX'S has the most important thing a crew needs and that's LOVE!!!!
6 brothers who only discovered each other last year in 2008! These crazy bunch of pinoys were in different established crews.
Jeffrey who was in Boy Blue and Zoonation.
A’Jai who was in Boy Blue and Avant Garde.
Marlon and Albert who were in Anarchy Cartel.
Ryan who was in Dialight.
And Swarf who was in Dance2xs, Bird Gang, Pink Mafia, Dialight, Flo’Ography and Zoonation.
Read the rest at their MySpace

Animaineax's (performance) names are: London, Rynamo, Swarf and Albertron.

Quite fittingly we've a Michael Jackson routine for you. This is the same routine Animaineax used in their Move Like Michael Jackson audition, filmed a few months before the show at their class:

The same routine was performed at the Michael Jackson tribute show Come Together in August

Plague
From their MySpace:
Plague is a Hip Hop based dance crew that was formed in 2000 and holds prestigious titles including 3 times UK HipHop Street Dance Champions and World HipHop Champions 2005. Plague have featured in performances from Mariah Carey, George Sampson, Kylie Minogue, Alesha Dixon, Westlife, Lionel Richie, Jamelia, Misteeq, Estelle, Houston, Africa Africa, Cirque Du Soleil, Pied Piper, Samsung, T-Mobile, Puma, Nike, L'oreal, MTV Base, Juste Debout, UK BBoy Championships, Formula One Grand Prix, Olympics 2008 Closing Ceremony plus many more.
Read more on their MySpace page

Not sure why this is called Shadows of the Mist, I don't remember seeing any mist!


Unity
Can't find Unity's MySpace, sorry! If I write a little maybe that'll help? Correct me if I get my facts wrong.
Unity are a former community dance group from London who have grown closer over the years dancing together, hence Unity. They are GWI and IDO World Champions 2008. They are, like other dance groups, split into age categories for performing: Unity and Unity Youth. Whenever these guys perform their supporters blow the roof off with their cheering.

Without further ado, here's their video reel:


Ash Mukharjee
From his MySpace
Born in Kolkata, India, Ash trained in Bharatanatyam under Guru Smt.Thankamani Kutti. A young principal dancer of Kalamandalam Kolkata, he was the winner of The Best Male Dancer Award, by Layavinyas, India. Having undergone training in classical ballet under ex prima ballerinas of The Royal Ballet, Brenda Last and Doreen Wells, and Latin and Jazz Theatre Dance at London Studio Centre, Ash is the first Indian National to have been nominated for a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award UK 2007 for his critically acclaimed contribution to the 2006 Place Prize winning piece. He is currently an independent dance artist who has recently been featured in Time Out London’s Rising Talent Issue and Dance Europe as one of Europe's three emerging dance makers.
Read the rest on his MySpace



The finals are on Sunday at 9pm guys!
If you need to catch a repeat, check this guide!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Move Like Michael Jackson - the criticisms!

So episode 4 of Move Like Michael. Everything's good,  right? So let's throw in a few critiques!

It's real nice seeing so many street dancers make it through. That's obviously the angle TooMuchFlavour is going to take, it's what we do!
But on the flip side, everyone seems to have this preconceived idea that Michael Jackson only ever did street dance.
Did he? Check out this clip:


Do your homework!

The second critique is the audience's influence on Jermaine's decision. Yesterday I said don't boo Mark Summers. Today I say don't cheer who you want to win!
Of course that will never happen anyway, people are just showing support, but this may be down to the studio location: some of the dancers travelled across the country, others caught a bus to the studio, so there's a big difference in who will get the loudest cheer, and when it's a close call, are you listening to? Your heart, or the screams of the dancer's crew in the audience?
Quite a predicament, no?

Finally - sorry, but it has to be said - Jamelia: why? Judges aren't hard to come by, so why did the producers choose a judge that doesn't have a clue what they're talking about unless it's the way the dancers are dressed?

I won't go any further on that one.

On that note I'm signing off.

Through to the finals are Plague, Ash, Unity and Animaneax. Tune in tomorrow!!

Move Like Michael Jackson Episodes 1 - 4 Verdict so far

Considering recent TV talent show have led me to lose faith thanks to deluded judges thinking about who will make them their next million, I'm glad to say Move Like Michael Jackson has restored a little faith.

That's probably because they've employed the use of an actual casting director and not someone who sits goggle eyed when someone does a backflip.

So what's making Move Like Michael Jackson stand out for me?

Firstly it's a week long series, so it cuts straight to the point. The producers went to several UK cities to audition dancers and it was shown in two episodes. No drawn out clips of embarrassing auditionees and no sob stories about how the dancers overcame obstacles to achieve their dream, just passionate people.

At times it looks like Mark Summers is playing up to a role as a panel judge for the cameras, but he knows what he's talking about:
"Don't give me a high kick and say it's contemporary, you won't fool me." He knows what he's looking for, even if it comes across a bit catchphrasey.



Lastly, so far, despite initial assumptions, it doesn't come across as a cash cow trading off Michael Jackson's death. Jermaine has been a little "Michael was this, and my brother was that," but otherwise first impressions seem sincere.
Phone voting will begin in a few days, so we'll see how this one unfolds.

Coming up we're going to examine other elements of Move Like Michael Jackson, so stay tuned to the blog and follow #movelikemichael tag on Twitter.

If you've missed the first few episodes, it might be worth catching up here.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Move Like Michael Jackson, tonight at 8.30 on BBC3

Shamown!



Tonight at 8.30 Move Like Michael Jackson begins on BBC3. Will it be sweeter than a Liberian Girl or will we tell it to Beat It after the first episode?

Auditions took place at Newcastle, Cardiff, Glasgow and London's Westfield in October to whittle down the groups to just 16 who have made it to the quarter finals due to be broadcast tonight. I've counted five established street dance groups that have made it - Peridot, Animaneax, Unity, Plague and Trilogy, some of whom performed at Come Together in August.

Whoever wins will perform at the Michael Jackson tribute show in front of the world (far better than a cash prize), so there's a lot at stake and should be nail biting stuff.

Move Like Michael Jackson will be judged by Michael's brother Jermaine Jackson (no introduction needed), casting director for the This Is It tour Mark Summers, and R'n'B singer Jamelia, with choreography by Lavelle Smith Junior. The series will run over six episodes, with the first two episodes showing tonight.

Aimed at finding dancers who best embody the spirit of Michael Jackson on stage, the show will include competitors from all backgrounds, individuals and group performances. The winner won’t necessarily be the dancer who simply mimics Jackson’s choreography, but rather someone who can move like him, creating and inventing their own iconic steps and styles to most impress the judges and viewers.

The finalists will then face each other in a dance off (hmm) to decide who wins the once in a lifetime opportunity.

Mark Summers has dropped a summary of the first two episodes on Facebook:

BEWARE SPOILERS:
Season 1 Episode 1:
Auditions A nationwide search to find Britain's 16 most talented dance acts who will battle it out to perform at Michael Jackson's memorial event. As the auditions begin, choreographer Lavelle Smith Jr and casting agent Mark Summers select the very best for a place in the studio semi-finals, where Jermaine Jackson and Jamelia will take on judging duties. Hosted by Reggie Yates.

Season 1 Episode 2:
Auditions As the auditions continue, choreographer Lavelle Smith Jr and casting agent Mark Summers select the very best for a place in the studio semi-finals, where Jermaine Jackson and Jamelia will take on judging duties. Hosted by Reggie Yates.
I'm hoping that being a BBC show there will be some integrity to it, rather than the audience baiting material that ITV put out. We'll have to see...

Move Like Michael is running daily and draws to a close next Monday so check the TV guide.

For more Move Like Michael stuff go online and for interviews with the judges and upload your MJ routines to the website.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Find Your Flavour and win a pair of ASICS SportStyle trainers and breakdance mat

Find Your Flavour and win a pair of ASICS SportStyle trainers and breakdance mat

Win a pair of trainers from ASICS SportStyle and one of the first ever breakdancing mats - start the year the freshest kicks by sending us your freshest pics!




To celebrate the launch of their SportStyle range, ASICS have created the first ever breakdancing mat. Put together with the help of award winning B-Boy Mouse, it is designed to teach novices the basic moves through simple, guided steps. One lucky entrant will be able to win one of these mats and pull off the toprock, sixstep and even the wakfreeze. The winner will also receive a pair of ASICS SportStyle trainers to practise new moves in true style.

How to win:

Winning is simple - find your flavour and photograph it!


Started breaking in front of a local attraction? Dressed your dog in a tracksuit? Maybe you spotted something quirky, like funny graffiti or discovered a really funky record in your parent’s music collection.

If it’s got flavour, it has a chance of winning


Simply take your photo, ‘fan’ TooMuchFlavour on Facebook, then post your photo to the wall for a chance to win.

For further details, example photos and to watch a video of what happened when the ASICS SportStyle breakdancing mat took to the streets of London, go to http://toomuchflavour.co.uk/competition_entry.html

Good luck!

Friday, 11 December 2009

(Rumoured) Diversity Flash Mob routine for Sky 1's "Got To Dance?"



This is (supposedly?) the choreography video for the flashmob, set to take place with with Diversity today at Westfield, London.

First impressions of it aren't very high - T-Mobile flashmob it ain't. Music is cut up left right and centre - nine songs in 90 seconds - with the longest cut being 20 seconds of Michael Jackson.

Choreography is obviously intended to be commercial, looking like it was influenced by Michael Jackson's Wanna Be Starting Something video, but some moves look dated rather than fresh, and even bemusing, such as a random head turn at 52 seconds - there's a free Into The Hoods poster for the first person who can explain why.

Although it's only rehearsal footage, I hate to say it, but even Diversity could merk it.


Update: Here's a link to the flashmob video - Got To Dance - Amazing Diversity Flashmob
Also an interview with the choreographer talking about the flashmob and footage of rehearsals.

Comments are welcome, use the form below

Monday, 7 December 2009

Technorati verification

GFCJ98TY3WMG

(Ignore this post, guys, it's so search engines can find out blog better)

Friday, 27 November 2009

Funktrap, Funk off and B-Better present: What’s Happenin’ Popping battle, Friday 20th November



Words: Nicky Short

Four years ago, a man drifted out of Angel tube station carrying a bag of records, turned left and headed round the corner, towards a grubby bar. Some DJs might be put off by a venue whose house wine is Jaegermeister, but not DJ Zulu AKA Disco Z, from another galaxy!

He saw potential in Arc Bar to fulfil his destiny to bring the funk to the people. Funk Off became a monthly mark in the diaries of poppers, lockers and groovy cats from all over town, in search of tunes to get down to and a floor to get down on.

By popular demand, Funk Off has been back in its Friday night slot for the past couple of months and on 20th November it joined forces with Funktrap and B-Better to present What’s Happenin’ 1 on 1 popping battle.

A few big names lent to the proceeding’s indisputable credibility: Mechanikool P bopping in the corner with Plague’s Mukhtar; Funkstylerz’s Chimpchilla took a night off from running the world to enjoy the night; and Pineapple’s own James Painting pec-popped on the sofa through his signature wife beater vest. But the veterans left the battling to the newer blood and even the judging was conceded to Walid, over from France who had been teaching workshops at Urdang.




By 11.30pm Arc was wall to wall with poppers, lockers, bboys, waackers and funk fans. With Zulu on the wheels and B-Better’s Tinacious MC on the mic, the vibe was so hot the windows were sweating.

Billed at London’s realest popping event with no mobile phone or energy drink sponsors, the competition was fierce, brutal, one on one, one round each until the final where Ssik Tingz narrowly beat Rikoshay to the £100 prize money.

Funktrap, Funk Off and B-Better proved a force to be reckoned with in presenting, by all accounts, a funkin’ good night.

Results (for full results, including qualifier rounds click here):
Quarter Finals
ALPA vs Blitz
Dr Shock vs SSIK TINGZ
Sheldon vs RIKOSHAY
Crazy vs UNCLE A

Semis
Alpa vs SSIK TINGZ
RIKOSHAY vs Uncle A

Final
SSIK TINGZ vs Rikoshay

For Funk Off info and Zulu DJ: myspace.com/zuludj
Keep up with B-Better, Self expression through Hip Hop: www.b-better.com
See what Funktrap have up their sleeves next: myspace.com/funktrapuk

Speech Debelle booed off stage - her response and the other side of the story

Edited on 29/11/09 - latest story development is at the bottom.
Speech Debelle was booed off stage by Take That fans at a charity gig on Wednesday night for their new SingStar kareoke game.

I thought I'd do a little Googling to get behind the story.

Here's the story and how it's developed:

Speech Debelle Booed off stage news story breaks - it's from the BBC - it must be true!

It quotes:
Debelle chose to rap her way through the 1993 hit single Pray, leading to boos from some of the 500-strong crowd.
A bit more research brought up NME's version of the story, who at least aren't scared to use swear words in their reports:
This year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize winner was jeered off stage during the London launch of the group's new 'SingStar' game.
"I'm a rapper. I don't do Take Shit," Debelle said to the crowd after they began booing.
Uh oh.
In both reports, both say that James Corden (of Gavin and Stacey) told her that anyone can rap.

From NME:
Her reaction then prompted the host, actor and comedian James Corden, to respond by saying, "That was shit, anyone can rap", before the Gavin And Stacey star launched into his own rap.
Today, or yesterday, depending on the gap between filming and uploading the video, Speech Debelle responded on a video blog:


In her response, Speech retold her side of the story:
"Something happened. I'm not really used to saying that, but I am a little bit to blame," the video starts.

"I think Gary Barlow is one of the greatest songwriters of all time," said Speech. "Now let me give you the story."


Speech admitted she had a few bottles of wine before the event, which she blames for her response to Corden, leading to being booed. Instead of saying "I don't take/do your shit stuff!" to Corden's comments, the words came out as "I don't do take shit stuff!"
The slip of the tongue occurred after she rapped the song rather than singing it.
"I'm not a singer, I'm a rapper, I'm having fun with it," she said. "Liqueur, anger, mixed together makes the wrong things come out. Be careful when you drink alcohol."

Speech continued to recall she had met Corden before in a dressing room before a show and gave him advice before facing an audience at Brixton Academy and expects an apology from him.

The video of the fiasco has appeared on YouTube.



Update: 29/11/09 - Let's forget about it!:
There's a possible happy ending to this blog I've changed several times. Today Speech offered a further apology after seeing the video (above) of the incident and filmed a second apology:

Halfway things got distracted when Pete Doherty walked past and Speech et al and Pete ended up jamming to Hit The Road Jack before kicking a freestyle.
Halfway through the freestyle Speech said: "I'm not allowed sing."

What do you think? We now know Speech slipped up, but was Corden really cool making the audience take sides? Maybe you're a bitter Take That fan? What about the latest Speech Debelle video of the Pete Doherty jam? Feel free to comment below.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

DJ IQ's Birthday Bash

FREE ENTRY ALL NIGHT!!


Thinking of going? Check out the Facebook event page and mark yourself as attending!

When: Wednesday, 02 December 2009, 7PM - 12PM
Where: Market Place, London W1W 8AH, nearest tube: Oxford Circus

DJs:

DJ IQ
Mr. Thing
Alex Nut
Mr.Beatnick
Josey Rebelle

Monday, 23 November 2009

Delicious Vinyl DJ iPhone Game released - scratch up Young MC, Pharcyde, Tone Loc, Eminem


 
Forget DJ Hero, the golden age of hip hop belongs in your pocket in the form of Delicious Vinyl DJ (DVDJ) for your iPhone and iTouch for $2.99 - click here.

View the trailer...


Rather than the Hero games on your home console, there's no virtual audience to boo you if you're no good - the closest to that happening is rocking a house party with your iPod connected to an amplifier.

It's still a rhythm game, but the difference with DVDJ is if you miss out scratches, your set doesn't sound as fresh.

You have to match multi-coloured notes as they scroll from top to bottom of the screen and trigger scratches on two turntables with a thumb twist or tap a button on the mixer in time with the music to score points. Craft the perfect beat and set a new high score. Just like a real DJ, increased accuracy determines how fresh and tight the mix will sound and gets you more points.

The custom scratches were done by DJ M. Walk, who's scratches were featured on Tone Loc's Wild Thing, which is also featured in the game

Even the menus look on point:





To see DVDJ in action, play the video below:


No doubt I'm excited just watching the video, I only wish I had an iPod to play it on! This is the coolest thing since I heard Young MC's album (whose songs also feature in the game).
Soon as I can get my hands on one I'm looking to do a review and possibly not returning the iPod to its original owner!

Song list:
Young MC - Bust A Move
Tone Loc - Funky Cold Medina
Tone Loc - Wild Thing (Peaches RMX)
The Pharcyde - Passin' Me By
Masta Ace - Born To Roll
Mr. Vegas (feat. Pitbull & Lil'Jon) - Pull Up (Club Mix)
Fatlip - What's Up Fatlip? (Breakbot RMX)
Masta Ace - Slaughtahouse (Eminem RMX)
Frank Nitt (feat. DJ Quik & J. Black) - L.O.V.E.
Bobby Evans - Freak-A-Zoid Robotz

Downloaded it? What do you think? You can comment below!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Lilou is Red Bull BC One 2009 winner

Just to clarify, I wasn't there. Shamefully, the only action I saw of the event was from a Twitter ticker! Journalism isn't glamorous! Enjoy your news story.

For more hip hop dance news, visit the main site at http://www.toomuchflavour.co.uk/

Edit: Now with video footage, see below before it's removed from YouTube.

Pics are from Cros 1's Twitter, follow @IamCROS1 for more of his tweets.



New York City, with its heritage of hip hop, was the place where further hip hop history was made, because last night (UK time) Lilou became the holder of the Red Bull BC One champions belt.

This is the second time Lilou has taken the belt since he won the competition in 2005, having returned in following years to attempt to win the title back.

In the quarter finals, Cloud (US) defeated Neguin (Brazil) and Lilou (France/Algeria) battled Morris (US), the solo champion at the UK B-Boy Championships for a place in the final.



Red Bull's Twitter described it as "the battle of the characters," and in a matter of minutes, what felt like eternal internet hours, the winner emerged as Lilou, 3 votes to 2.

Within minutes there were tweets from people at the event spreading the news, and even Red Bull BC One's Wikipedia page was updated seconds after it was announced.

What remains to be seen is whether the new BC One Champions belt, specially redesigned for 2009, will be returned. As documented in the film Turn It Loose, Lilou has become notorious for not returning his winner's belt, and an educated guess says he won't this time either.

Official Red Bull BC One highlights


The final: Lilou vs Cloud For more BC One amateur mobile phone video action, visit itzbryz's channel.


Red Bull Blacks Out
Tickets for BC One sold out weeks before the event, meaning only a lucky few were able to see it in person. Those that couldn't turned to Twitter to be updated, but a problem with Red Bull's BC One account meant there was an information blackout during the quarter finals, prompting them to re-register another account while their followers waited or followed others at the event. After Lilou was announced as the winner, Red Bull's tweeter apologised for the delays.

Props to Cros1 and BreakerNYC for updating their Twitters so this report was possible!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Win tickets to Kyza's concert TOMORROW NIGHT! (14th) - double your chances with Twitter!



How does winning a pair of tickets to see Kyza at Rhythm Factory sound?
It sounds pretty good to me! With DJ MK (Roots Manuva's DJ) and MTV's own Sarah Love, plus more (click the flyer above to view it full screen) it's going to be a good night for UK hip hop.

Check out Kyza's freestyle on Tim Westwood's show:



So what do you have to do to win these tickets?
Drop an email to info@toomuchflavour.co.uk with "Kyza" in the subject line, and drop your contact number, and Twitter username if you're on Twitter so we can notify the winner - no contact number, no entry! You have until Friday midnight.

Double you chances of winning with Twitter!
Use the same tracking link - http://j.mp/2mfwinkyza - and we'll track whoever retweets it and double your entry in to the competition. So get retweeting and double your chances of winning! You must include your Twitter username in your entry email or we can't see who is who!

Notice: Only the winner will be notified if they have won a pair (x2) guestlist places, which you can claim on the door. Unsuccessful entrants will be contacted later in the week asking if they would like to be part of our mailing list (and thus be entered for other prize draws), otherwise your details will be removed from our database. For obvious reasons, UK entrants only!

Good luck!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Sesame Street is oldschool at 40!

Sesame Street is 40! 
They say life begins at 40, but there's two things wrong with that:
  1. I'm not 40.
  2. I haven't seen Sesame Street on terrestrial TV in year.

Either way, I won't be ashamed that I, as well as scores of others reading this, also used to watch it too.

With a little bit of YouTubing to see what's up with yeeears of Sesame Street I came up with this golden oldie sure to make any oldschooler smile - Mr Wiggles featured in one of their sketches.



I wish more people did this rather than huff about the bus being late...

In case you haven't had a chance to read our article, we spent a week in Mr Wiggle's presence for Breakin' Convention's Pioneers week - read The Mr Wiggle's Pioneers Workshop at Sadler's Wells.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Street Dance 3D movie trailer *updated* with original Street Dance 3D trailer and Flawless version!

The trailer for Street Dance the movie has been released on to the internet (and promptly jacked by others to put it on their YouTube!). 56 seconds of teaser footage show the stars of the film in brief flashes of routines with only a subtle hint to the storyline.



Here's the blurb:
After a group of urban dancers find themselves without rehearsal space in the run-up to a top competition, they are forced to work with Royal Ballet dancers in exchange for studio time.
Artistic temperaments run high as the two worlds collide.
Update: Here's the Flawless trailer (at the end of the video):



What are people's impressions of this? Diversity, Flawless and George Sampson stealing the limelight from the ballet dancers? Too cheesey and commercial (look at how it flashes "eye popping" when there's a popper in the shot!)? Too... American?

I personally think it looks like it was filmed very much in the style of Step Up: same camera tint (?), typical glamorous lead characters, and hinting at a lot of routine scenes / training in the pouring rain.

Updated: You can read our review of Street Dance 3D here!

Any comments from anyone that was an extra in the film?

Friday, 30 October 2009

Kanye West's "Glow In The Dark" book trailer

Books do indeed need promotion these days, their numbers are in decline. Literature isn't selling well, while celebrity books are outselling them by the truckload: this one is the latter.

So rather than a standard book signing for his book Glow In The Dark, this video trailer for Kanye's book surfaced yesterday on the internet, directed by Nabil Elderkin, who's photography features in the book.

It's not rare for books to have trailers, usually 30 second TV spots to fill up the late night advertising void on commercial television; Kanye's weighs in at just under five minutes!

KANYE WEST "Glow in the Dark" book promo from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.

A quick search of Amazon showed that it's been out since September though. Maybe the book isn't selling as well as they thought it might, and you need to have more than the world's biggest ego to make the bestsellers list?

If you want to cop the book then you can buy it here. Although, I'm really happy that you can buy it from Amazon, and I'mma let you finish, but Waterstones also should stock copies, because they're the best bookshop of all time!!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Boy Blue "Whose Side Are You On?" Asbos vs Pied Piper batte photos

Pied Piper won! Unfortunately we couldn't make it down to check out the event, but that's the beauty of Flickr photo pools. So check out the slideshow!

The best pics taken will win a free Boy Blue class for themselves and ten of their mates too.
For more info on the battle, and the forthcoming Pied Piper (or read our review of the spring show here) show returning to the Barbican this December, see www.whosesideareyouon.org

This blog links from We're Excited About... Boy Blue Presents "Pied Piper" and Zoonation's "Into The Hoods" - Click to go back to the site

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Government warns: Get down and dance (featuring Soul Mavericks)

From Channel 4 news, featuring appearances from Soul Mavericks and former b-boy, Carlos Acosta:



It turns out the powers that be think we should dance for fitness. When many reader of TooMuchFlavour live by a mantra of "dance or die!" does it really matter anyway?

Is it healthy advice, or bucking the trend (thanks Diversity!)? We're not political writers, so you decide. As long as the Government backs legitimate dance projects, and the grants don't go toward under qualified teachers or practitioners looking for an easy cash handout, bring it on, put more money into dance and let's push it forward.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Bounce criticisms holding back hip hop theatre?

This blog is linked to our review of Insane In The Brain


The prejudice I came across researching facts for the Insane In The Brain review saddened me, seeing how people can judge a book by its cover (or a play by it's poster), until I realised maybe it's not so bad!

As my co-writer Archie once commented at a public hip hop event "the place is full of archetypal stereotypes who have no interest in what they're watching, only interested in being cultured and having an opinion on things."

Unfortunately it's these archetypal stereotypes that are holding back hip hop theatre, as well as putting theatres like Sadler's Wells under (indirect) scrutiny for trying to push progressive dance forward. We're not all Diversity clones!

Let's take a look at a few prejudices by outspoken Twitter users:
@samranger Wait it is a "Live street DANCE version of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" title still: "Insane in the Brain". Still appalled.
@ereuben Saw ad on the tube for "Insane In The Brain," a street-dance version of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I need lithium & a passport STAT
@SaliWho I love One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest & hip hop, so why does this sound like horrific theatrical hell? http://twitpic.com/hoyb1
Good to see freedom of speech, of course, but shouldn't these people at least give it a chance before judging it?

Hip hop shows that have made it to theatre land in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, seem to induce headaches to couch critics, ie, the above Twitters, why can't they recognise that the top three shows we've had: Into The Hoods, Pied Piper (read review) and Insane In The Brain (read review) are all based on classical texts which their oh-so-educated selves probably studied at school? Boy Blue winning an Olivier Award for Pied Piper? The educated archetypal stereotype should be buying block bookings with an accreditation like that!

As far as Twitter is concerned though, the meaningless ramblings of the 'ignorantly educated' shouldn't tarnish Insane In The Brain's reputation. Obviously I felt passionately that people shouldn't pre-judge something that even I hadn't seen before. That was until I realised they're the ones missing out!

Insane In The Brain has been seen by over 100,000 people since it started in 2006. It goes without saying, that's a lot of people! And while I could worry about what a handful of people have to say about something they're too judgemental to see, it's me, not them, that's having a great night at the theatre while discovering another innovative twist on a classic tale.

My advice to those that overlook street dance because they believe Diversity are a low standard example (and the Twitterers in question will be notified of this blog) is to go out and buy yourself tickets to any of the shows I mentioned above and let your hair down.

Here's what people thought of Insane In The Brain on the first night:


Yes, I'm passionate about street dance, but do I jump to the same conclusion when I see a poster for ballet? No! In fact, I'm even toying with the idea of getting tickets to see Carlos Acosta in December! Open your eyes to other cultures around you, don't be so ignorant, guys!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Oh Ye, O Ye, Kanye is the town fool on social networking sites

When the president of the United States calls you a jackass, you know you've messed up. This is presidential. This is Kanyegate!

So how Kanye must be feeling right now, I can't imagine! Since he jumped on stage at the VMAs to crash Taylor Swift's acceptance speech, fans and critics of the Louis Vuitton Don haven't reacted positively.

But the blogosphere has had a fantastic time tearing into the incident! Minutes after he made his stance on who the deserved best video award should go to, Twitter was set alight with negative tweets about his speech-crashing behaviour, and now everyone is in on the act, with "Kanye West" being a trending topic for the past few days.

Just a quick search for his name brings up results like:
@jwathen11280 "just heard that Kanye West plans on interrupting Patrick Swayze's funeral to inform everyone that Michael Jackson's funeral was better."
@thelastshow "Kanye West is talented & his music deserves to be acknowledged with awards, but his bad behavior merits #BanKanye at awards shows for 1 year"
@mathis86 "just voted "Yes, hence the crop circles on his head." on "Is Kanye West an Alien?" vote too ➔ http://bit.ly/1xQZFw"
@smokeymtnpowder "Watching this kanye west video on youtube...he must be needing a paycheck pretty bad."
@toomuchflavour: "I was going to update my Twitter, but Kanye West interrupted me and told me that FriendFeed was better..." (haven't a clue how this comment made it in...
Ouch. Guess people are poking fun quite a bit, right?

Then check out the picture website Immaletyoufinish.com's take on it, posting loads of badly photoshopped images of Kanye pasted on famous photos and film and TV moments:



But best YET has to be this video to the tune of Heartless from his recent 808s and Heartbreak album. We're sure this will fast become a top YouTube hit:



Make the most of the satire while you can, people will get sick of it pretty soon!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Happy Birthday to The Place!

Happy 40th Birthday to The Place in Euston which is looking great for its age!

In September 1969 Robin Howard founded the Dance centre in the converted Victorian drill hall for a season of works by the London Contemporary Dance Company.

40 years later, the dance styles, as well as the walls have expanded to accommodate different disciplines and continue to break down social, political and linguistic barriers.

This weekend it opened its doors for people to come in and "taste" a selection of classes The Place has to offer for free.

It was "Urban Flavour" day on Friday 11, with three specialist classes and three teachers: Lil Tim on behalf of Jonzi D Productions, Marso on behalf of Company Decalage and Jeffrey on behalf of Zoo Nation. The friendly staff greeted guests with a free 'goody bag' (it was all dance-related leaflets, but it came in a bag!) and some delicious looking home made jam for sale to raise funds. Then we were ushered to the studios for classes, which covered the basic skills in each of the disciplines, street dance and b-boying.

The classes were just under an hour each, for beginners, but that didn't mean skill wasn't needed! Marso showed us the strings of a toprock to footwork routine, while the Zoo Nation class was a stylised street routine, vibing to an R'n'B track. It was pleasing to see that at least (I forgot to count) 6 eight-phrases were taught in the hour as well! Lil Tim taught several basic toprocks to footwork, and in true b-boy style finished off with an open circle for freestyling, where even the less confident dancers had a go.

Jonzi D turned up to host the afterparty at 9 o'clock, but unfortunately, with so many young participants the dance floor was a little bare. Surprising, seeing as it was a Friday night, inside a dance centre...

Nevertheless, a defiant Jonzi took hold of the microphone and said "Let's make this our party then!" leaving it up to the older dancers to take to the open circle, before jumping in and dancing to Chaka Khan's I Feel For You.

Even a hyped up freestyle circle couldn't keep the after party going on for too long though, so the after calling it a night, the Place staff invited everyone into the bar for drinks where a Latino band were playing salsa music.

During the interval in the band's set, a calorific birthday cake was cut into generous slices for all in attendance.

Even though it was a Friday night, even journalists need to get home, so we took a share of cake for the journey and headed off.

Many happy returns to The Place. It's looking great at 40, and we want to raise our glass to another 40 years of dancing!

Belated weekend gift: Brick City Live Podcast download

What with all the updates this week, I know this one is a little late, but I feel it's still worth checking out.

A while back I headed to Brick City Boutique at the Elbow Room in Islington to check out the battles going down, and met a lot of cool people.

On of them was a guy called Vice. Vice runs Street Soul Productions, which plays nothing but underground, authentic hip hop.

Vice hosts his own podcast show. He caught up with me, as well as a few of the other people attending BCB, one of them being the legendary Skinnyman, to interview us for the Brick City podcast episode.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking the link below, and if you like what you hear, make sure to subscribe for future podcasts.

Flave


Basement Sessions: Brick City Minipod 1


Check out the b-boy battle from Brick City Boutique:

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Insane in the mebraaane!

INSANE IN THE BRAIN!!

To give you something to BOUNCE about (sorry about the puns, I'll stop!) and to celebrate the return of the hip hop take on "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," go check out our feature on the main site.

You may also go crazy (sorry, I said I'd stop) about the competition we're running.

Sign yourself up to the mailing list and we'll enter you in to a draw to win a signed Bounce "Insane In The Brain" poster.

Good luck!

Peace,

Flave

We're Excited About... Insane In The Brain

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Want to try dance? FREE classes: Taste The Place, this weekend

You're a 'fan' of TooMuchFlavour because you're into some sort of urban lifestyle, but how many of you have yet to try actually giving dancing a go?

Lil Tim, representing Jonzi D Productions, Marso, representing Company Decolage, and Zoo Nation will be giving FREE workshops this Friday at The Place, Euston. FREE!

So whether it's your first time trying dance, or you're just brushing up on your basics, check it out.

Read our article for more info and why we're excited about it!

We're excited about... Taste The Place

Friday, 4 September 2009

Searching... for Speech Debelle at Fenchurch


When I heard Fenchurch were hosting a live session with Speech Debelle at their flagship store at Seven Dials, there was no question as to whether it was worth checking out. I had to go. Fenchurch + hip hop!

I'd like to point out that I'm not riding on Speech's Mercury award nomination success, as I was there watching her perform after the B.Supreme show in April! Spotting her a few weeks later in the Observer Music Monthly I knew I should probably have stuck around longer to catch all of her performance...

Speech is a Mercury Award nominee who is beginning to make a name for herself in the UK hip hop music scene for her softly spoken voice, honest and poetic lyrics and feel good live beats - she performs with an acoustic guitarist, drummer and bass player. It's like hip hop crossed over with a jazz band, a female Abstract to an English Tribe Called Quest!

Fans will be waiting with baited ears for whether she's won on Tuesday, but to keep them excited she performed a few numbers off her album at Fenchurch as an intimate warm up gig before the winner is announced.

Free drinks were available for attendees, as well as plenty of cool freebies to grab (not sure what was more popular, the free alcohol or the Fenchurch branded lighters!).

It was warm inside the shop, which had all its interior shifted to make room for the band setup and the radiant lighting setup. People packed around in a circle, to which Speech remarked "Why are you in a circle?" making us spread the shape so everyone could see.

The performance started early and the filled room with the introduction of Searching. When she finished, everyone clapped, only for us to find out it was the sound check! Ha!

A few drinks later, if you were able to get any, the show kicked off at its correct time, now with slightly clearer acoustics. Like any true artist should for their fans, Speech performed a good few tracks (no 'two songs and we're done' stylee), including her latest single Spinning, Better Days and Badman.

Speech's performance style is unlike typical 'hip hop.' No jumping up and down, amping of the crowd, but a lot of introverted, personal moments (albeit in front of an audience) while performing. While she spits her lyrics she looks at the floor a lot as though she's thinking about every lyric she's saying, a huge contrast between the showmen you see trying to whip the crowd into a frenzy. Instead it was like sharing her inner thoughts with the people in the room set to melodic and upbeat tunes.

Maybe it's the current attention she's getting, I don't know Speech's performance history. Frequently she'd make the occasional well received joke though, and it was like watching someone happy to be where she is, doing what she likes doing, and that's performing. Her band should also be credited too, those guys know how to make a live jam sound good. This was a different kind of vibe, a rarity these days in hip hop, and it's good to see humble performers.

The audience loved the performances, as did I. As did some of Speech's friends that turned up to show their support too! I'd only heard Searching - Amazon did a free [legal] download of it on promotion, and another song I never caught the name of, this opened my eyes and ears. Yes, the newspapers are making a deal about her because her style crosses over into what could be considered an easy listening market, but at least seeing her perform live (and in full) I now know what the deal is about, and it's made my mind up about buying the album too.

Click below to listen to samples from Speech Therapy, and if you like it, buy it and show support!



Something about the setup at Fenchurch reminded me of when King Apparel opened their shop doors to Guru. But there was no rivalry between the two shops (situated next to each other), in fact, King Apparel staff were also in the building. Hip hop love!

You can visit Speech Debelle's website at www.speechdebelle.com for more info on her, as well as links to her Facebook and MySpace.
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