2016 was a bumper year for the South African duo that is STAB Virus. With a breakout release on Coyu’s Suara imprint in ‘The Unknown Song’ their profile has grown in leaps and bounds. With support from global heavyweights such as Laurent Garnier and Pete Tong, it was only a matter of time before they would set their sights on bigger things.
With humble beginnings, Siphe Tebeka and Makonwabe ‘Audiojerk’ Bekwa have stolen the hearts of electronic music enthusiasts all over the country of South Africa through hard work, perseverance and an endearing charm. Having grown up in Gugulethu and Langa (two of Cape Town’s largest informal settlements), the environment for their development was by no means ideal. While most of their colleagues would focus on deep and afro-house, the more popular genres in these locations, STAB Virus wanted to stand out from the crowd. Starting within the realm of the aforementioned genres, they eventually gravitated towards more techno-orientated sounds and over the years have managed to garner the support of their peers. The road hasn’t been without its bumps along the way, particularly when the guys decided to start doing music on a full time basis. Jobs in the country are particularly scarce and even less accessible to those living outside of the main city, but they have managed to adapt and use their limited resources to the highest potential – and when asked to comment on this, they said the following:
“It was okay when we started because all the artists in the townships had the same goals as us, but then we didn’t have all the resources to achieve our goals. I think we all have to know and learn how to market ourselves and achieve our goals. Some of us knew how to use all these resources that we were short of…”
Needless to say, STAB Virus have graced the stages of some of South Africa’s biggest music festivals from Rocking the Daisies, to Earthdance and Ultra. The next logical step would be to take things abroad. Being South African, it is notoriously difficult to travel and work overseas (besides the huge expenses also involved). However, for Amsterdam Dance Event 2016, Makonwabe [Audiojerk] was invited through Bridges for Music to make an appearance at their Boiler Room showcase during the conference. This would open the doors for further bookings outside of South Africa for the duo, including that of Les Electropicales – 9e edition in the Reunion Islands for a CTEMF (Cape Town Electronic Music Festival) takeover, and most notably Awakenings back in Amsterdam in June. No doubt, the booking for Awakenings came as a big surprise as they explained ‘when we got an email saying they want to book us for Awakenings, we thought we read the email wrong!’. As one of the biggest techno festivals on the planet with 16 stages spanning a huge variety of sub-genres, STAB Virus have been fittingly included in Area B opening for hometown hero Black Coffee. This marks a huge turning point for South African house and techno as the young guns rub shoulders with the dons of the scene. Other acts in Area B include Âme, The Martinez Brothers and Loco Dice, all of whom have graced South African shores before.
It is clear that the boys are already in for a productive 2017. With a new two-track EP out now on infamous German imprint Katermukke they seem to be going full steam ahead, and with sights set on the likes of Time Warp, DGTL Festival, and ADE make sure you keep your eyes peeled as they plan for world domination!
Follow STAB Virus HERE