Foot Patrol is a band that puts the fun back in funk; A raucous combo from Austin that treats listeners to a potent dose of musical talent, a fearless sense of theatrical showmanship, and a playfully subversive brand of humor. The DIY outfit combines 1980's Minneapolis funk with hip hop, new wave, Funkadelic, James Brown, video game music and many more influences into absurdist party grooves as deep as they are fat. The Onion's AV Club branded their music "slithering, sexed-up funk," and Spin called them "an airtight funk band."
With seven albums and two EP's under their belt, including the much worshiped Pussyfooting (mixed by Grammy-winning producer Adrian Quesada), the band has seasoned their eclectic and infectious sound into a tasty concoction. Whether irresistible mid-tempo booty-shakers, nasty lowdown grooves or jumping party anthems, Foot Patrol's originals are woven through with operatic compositions, classic funk and hip hop samples, and the frequent well-placed foot pun. (After all, such a joyous smellebration of pure sole is no small feet!)
The combo revolves around the collaboration between bassist Hung Nguyen and vocalist/keyboard player TJ Wade, who bonded initially over a love of Prince's music while Nguyen was a residential instructor at the Texas School for the Blind. Wade is a blind musical prodigy whose unparalleled keyboard virtuosity rightly places him in the same column as Ray and Stevie, but whose singular talent for samples, unforgettable riffs and creative vocalizing -- not to mention a lifelong foot fetish -- moves him into a formidable niche entirely his own. Wade has worked with D'Wayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Toné! as well as Keshia Cole, Krucial Keys, Alicia Keys and even the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra, but returned to Texas to explore with Nguyen their shared impulse toward expanding the boundaries of the funk genre.
In addition to irresistible grooves, Foot Patrol's exuberant live shows feature a mix of dramatic stage effects, costumes and skits (police and courtroom motifs being a favorite, of course), audience-participatory contests of skill, outrageous choreography from androgynous dancers, and a barrage of sound effects and comedy bits from Wade that serve as the most dazzling between-songs banter you're likely to ever experience. Vice Magazine has called them "inspiringly crazy and awesome onstage."