I work with illustrator James Jarvis through our UK based design company, Amos. We’re best known for producing collectible vinyl toy figures. We also write and produce books and comics, create designs for clothes and accessories, and over the last couple of years we’ve worked with ATP on a number of projects. Listening to: I get through untold stuff every week. As I type this I’m listening to the new Alps record on Mexican Summer. But recently I’ve been buying old hardcore records and been particularly impressed by the brutal early 90s Power Violence of Providence band, Dropdead, and Dischord hardcore of 80s DC band, Void. Recent likes include the new Zomes LP (low-fi electronic soundtrack oddness); the second True Widow LP (melodic stoner slow core); and the latest genius Inquisition LP, “Ominous Doctrines of Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm” (sick mid-paced BM). I’ve also been digging out some of my 70s/80s dub LPs after watching Babylon again (see below).
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Reading: For the last few years I’ve been slow reading books. The internet is a terrible distraction. The last novel I read was Kurt Vonnegut’s, Slaughter House Five. Alien abduction and the fire bombing of Dresden: an odd combination that works surprisingly well. I regularly read online worldwide news and comment. The unashamed, blatant hypocrisy of those in the world who hold the monopoly on power, never ceases to amuse me. Watching: I don’t watch much TV. UK television is mostly shite. I tend to watch DVDs - films and series box sets. I recently re-watched Franco Rosso’s, Babylon. I hadn’t seen it for years and it’s ripe for re-appraisal. It focuses on black working class youth in South London in 1980, not long before the notorious Brixton Riots. Loosely set around the reggae soundsystem culture at the time, it’s an excellent period snapshot of a troubled city, the locals’ defiance, and the killer music. Top film. I’m about to start watching Treme, a series of which I’ve only heard good things. I enjoy checking the films on Adam Curtis’ BBC blog. He has access to the BBC archives and digs out great topical footage to compliment his social commentary. Eating: After a recent visit to Japan I realised that I needed to change my diet. I cut out bread and have part supplemented this with noodles. So. To keep things interesting, I learned to make a simple Dashi stock from seaweed. This is the basis for many soups and dipping sauces and so far it’s helped wean me off the bread. The Japanese are so good at utilising all aspects of food sources. Their food is an acquired taste for many foreigners, but once acquired its difficult to live without. Promo Info: For the month of May we’ve taken over the KK Outlet space in London’s Hoxton Square and installed a pop up shop, a showcase of some of our favourite Amos projects, and a gallery of original James Jarvis drawings. We’ve also just written a very silly mini-comic book based on a Lewis Carroll classic. Caleb’s Adventures in Wonderlean is available at the Amos Miniature Plastic Workshop at KK Outlet. www.amostoys.com This Artist Picks feature was brought to you as part of the ATP Takeover Week on The 405. Full details on the takeover can be found here