“We never really had a plan.”
From label releases that encompass the eleven-strong collective’s constantly fluctuating fusion of brooding beats and atmospheric sound, to their nights that offer a wealth of perpetually innovative performances, everything Young Echo do bears something distinctly special and proves them as a vital creative force that continues to grow with prolific creativity.
“We started it at the end of 2010. It’s all been quite natural I guess,” Amos Childs (of Jabu) says. “It started as a group of friends and now we’ve added more friends. We never really had a plan.” But as their various projects continue to evolve, this longevity is a testament to the collective’s organic and explorative approach to creation. Elaborating on this, Jasmine Butt, who’s also part of Jabu, adds, “The things that are keeping it going now show how it’s kind of changing. Young Echo at the beginning, it was more about the nights and the radio show, and now things like the label and thinking of different kinds of releases. Not necessarily just music, there’s talk of other avenues to go down. It’s constantly evolving.”
Naming Bristol as “a really nurturing city for music” that provided formative opportunities and environments for everyone involved in Young Echo, they tell me how it was at the nights that Kahn & Neek used to put on that the collective essentially came to be. “[They] used to run a night called Sureskank and there was one in 2010 where they put a lot of us on,” Amos recalls, “and then about a week after that we did the first radio at Seb [Vessel]’s mum’s house.”
“I guess there’s a pretty blurred line between audience and the people performing.”
Naturally, the changing nature of Bristol as a city is something that Young Echo have witnessed first-hand: “It does feel like it’s changed quite a lot in terms of the venues that used to be there when we first started, or when we were teenagers,” Amos affirms, “but there are still a lot of people doing really good things.” Adding to this Jasmine says, “It feels really important to nurture relationships with the people who own and run venues. Like, our last show at The Cube was amazing, just because of how much of a collaboration it was between Young Echo and The Cube, and just how much talking happened before it was even set in stone. It made it really special that everyone was invested; it’s not just about Young Echo but the people that run the place as well.”
Their nights always purvey a genuine warmth and an inclusive atmosphere, one that very much conveys the familiarity and closeness at the heart of Young Echo. “There are so many people involved now. If there’s gonna be a show there’s no meeting to say ‘oh what shall we do’,” Jasmine explains. “It’s not curated, it’s just people saying ‘I want to do this or that’. Everyone has their choices and it all kind of comes together. There’s no one person curating, I guess it’s more of an organic thing.” This makes for events with a different vibe: “I guess there’s a pretty blurred line between audience and the people performing,” Amos explains, “’cause a lot of the people in the audience are kind of involved in it, in one way or another.”
In terms of current projects in the pipeline, Amos details, “Jas is working on some of her own stuff, we’re working on another Jabu record, me and Sam [Neek] are working on loads of stuff with Jack, who’s Manonmars. Chester Giles is working on a project that will be out maybe next year.”Jasmine adds “We’re talking about potentially making the Cube show almost an annual or biannual event, that feels a bit like an event version of the Young Echo compilation album concept in that it kind of showcases, in a more formal, performative way, the stuff people have been working on. Or that it’s a way for people to try out performance stuff that they maybe wouldn’t be able to do at Exchange, where The Cube is less of a club space.” Speaking of Exchange, all eyes are now on their upcoming night, as team YE and friends descend on the venue this month.
Join Young Echo at Exchange with friends MXLX, Salope, Jiinx and a very special secret guest, 20th December.
Listen to ‘Fool If’ by Jabu here: