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Worst Friends – Billiards With A Midget review

Hailing from Los Angeles and New York, it would be safe to assume that Worst Friends aka Addled, Slow Hands and Tom Croose can draw on a trunk full of musical influences. So far, their limited but impressive releases have painted an aural picture of a combo stuck somewhere between the West Coast wizardry of nu-Balearic adventurer Sorcerer, the San Francisco/New York disco dubbiness of the Rong Music label and the aural trippiness of Norway’s Scandolearic masters (see early Lindstrom & Prins Thomas) – with more than a dash of Claremont 56/Mudd thrown in. A sound which to date was perhaps best demonstrated on last year’s brilliant Neves For None on Future Classic.

Given their sound and success, its little surprise to see them popping up on Prins Thomas’ Internasjonal label. They’re a natural fit, especially when they indulge the Norwegian’s notoriously silly sense of humour by calling their single “Billiards With A Midget”.

And what a single. Even more thrillingly spaced-out than “Neves For None”, it’s a dubswise Balearic gem based around a delightfully lazy dub rhythm. With echo-laden vocal snippets and deep keys weaving their way in and out of a crackling atmosphere of radio interference, vinyl pops and Nicolas Jaar-ish samples, it’s like DJ Harvey after an ounce of Thai strength weed. With Sorcerer and DJ Rong on production.

For those with half an eye on the dancefloor, there are a couple of corking remixes to choose from. First, Prins Thomas himself gets out his drum kit, polishes down the synth marimbas and drops a Scandolearic disco chugger. Then, as if trying to outdo the Norwegian, Eric Duncan dons his Dr Dunks moniker, ups the tempo and lays down a seriously freaky space disco trip that should find fans within San Francisco’s dub-disco community.

Matt Anniss