If Jad Fair had access to all the electronic gadgets and gizmos the Tudaloos have at their disposal today, the music he wrote back in the early '80s might have sounded a lot like this. To call what the Tudaloos are doing simply indie pop would be to ignore the truly innovative sound the band has shaped from the various electronics, samples and off-kilter beats it employs on every track of its latest release, Houses. The bouncy, lighthearted appeal of the act lies in its collage of electronic music, taking noises that could have come from an old video game and mating them with more traditional instrumentation. And while it might seem that the ensuing music would resemble a hodgepodge of inharmonious sonic patchwork, it doesn't; the odd pairings turn out to be remarkably cohesive. Like an ideal marriage of nature and science, the Tudaloos make folk music for the computer age.

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