The Beats09 May 2016
STAB-Virus: Big in Germany
Stab virus are South Africa’s latest international export with their track ‘The Unknown Song’ edited by Coyu hitting the top 40 on the Beatport techno chart and blowing up in Germany.
But, who are these guys? And why have you not heard of them?
Siphe and Audiojerk met through a friend in 2009 in Gugulethu, in Siphe’s home studio. Audiojerk was a self-taught deep-house and techno DJ who had been spinning the decks since he was a kid, begging the older guys at his local club to let him practice. Siphe was more of a studio guy, preferring to stay at home experimenting with electro, dubstep and trance. It took 6 years until one New Years’ Eve they broached the conversation of fusion. Siphe explains, “He just finally said to me – “Siphe, why can’t we just fuse our music together and see what we can do.”
When they first started, the techno wasn’t exactly neat.
“We started doing techno, but we didn’t really know what techno was or how to start producing it together. Until we started listening intensely to European music, we studied it and we started figuring out how they did it. And we were like, “We want to do that. We want to make music like Solomun, H.O.S.H, Tales of Us – all the European guys, but we want to do it different – with our own African sound.” So, we started trying to combine all of these great European sounds into one track. And it didn’t work.”
Music in the townships right now is all deep-house and gqom, and two guys trying to revive techno was going to take a new brand of production to work.
“So, basically after doing that, we realised that we didn’t want to make that sound. We wanted to carve our own way. We’re from the township, and we’re making music that people don’t really understand there, or take seriously. It’s kind of hard for us, people will look at us like we’re crazy until finally they get comfortable with the beat, and then they like it.”
The Unknown Song is one of those earworms you can’t get rid of. Nine minutes of powerful chords and crazy arpeggios, techno fused with EDM, mixed and shaken with electronica. This fusion of elements is what sets them apart, their name also reflects that ethos:
“We were trying to find a name that would define us, but we didn’t want to be literal or obvious and go with “afro boys” or “township fusion”. So, we just decided to use our initials Siphe Tebeka –ST and AudioJerk - AB. STAB. Fusion. It sounds techno too. And then we just decided to put “virus” on the end.”
Listen to track everyone’s talking about right here: