Interview: DJ Apache

1. DJ Name and any used previously? :

DJ Jefferson Vandike (most commonly and alternatively known as DJ Apache), my first ever DJ moniker was ‘DJ Amaze’ then briefly for a short period i was also ‘DJ Legz’.

2. What styles of music could one expect to hear in your sets? :

Having started spinning the decks way back in 1985 aged just 16 i began playing Disco, Soul, Funk, Reggae and 80’s Groove shortly followed by early Old-Skool Hip-Hop and Break jams. Next up the electricity of the Chicago House and Detroit Techno scenes exploded onto U.K shores and this was the sound that i fell head over heels in love with and which has proved instrumental in shaping my career as a DJ ever since. As these base genres have evolved so have I, from Acid House through to Jungle/D’n’B i have always looked to embrace and move with the times rather than stand still and get stuck in any one particular groove. I believe music is the answer therefore a musical melting pot is who i am.

Dependant on the particular night and venue you could expect to hear anything from the A to the Z, but truly where i am for myself right now is hooked up in a very thoughtful deep and intelligent house and electronica vibe sometimes iced with a little non-abrasive moving techno….this is the place where i can chill, open my mind and let my emotions flow.

3. How did you get started playing out? :

I used to go to a nightclub called ‘Rockafellas’ (later to become Zenas) on a Sunday night where they would play a mixture of Disco, Funk, Soul, Rare and 80’s Groove and sometimes a little Reggae. I initially just used to go and dance from beginning to end but would always have a good chat about the music with the DJ there…local legend…Henry Oxford. He was from the Old-Skool, a highly charismatic talk DJ but one who instinctively new which was the perfect track to drop next. I had heard mix DJ’s on the radio but had never heard any in a nightclub in Plymouth and had been trying myself to mix myself at home on a twin tape deck stereo we had, just pausing and playing striving to match the beats!! Anyway, i would talk to Henry about this and one day he offered for me to come in early an hour or so before the club night would start to have a go and try mix on the decks there. I jumped at the chance and took like it to it like a duck to water, finding i could beat-match instantly. This is where it all began for me and it wasn’t long before i was doing a guest slot alongside Henry on a Sunday night in Rockafellas, the rest as they say is history!!

4. What nights/venues have you played over the years? :

As my previous answer explains i started playing out in Rockafellas, then it was Zenas, Roots/Mr.Sweets (special mention and big-up to my partner in rhyme Dave ‘Skinny D’), The Academy, The Warehouse, Monroes, Avis’s, The Malthouse, Ritzy, The Quay Club, The Cooperage, Club Fandango, View2, Ride, Annabels…the list goes on…in fact over my 29 years of DJ’ing i reckon i must have graced the turntables in pretty much every nightclub in Plymouth at some point i guess!!

Over the years i have also held residencies and/or guested at some major venues all across the U.K and Europe. I spent a year in Germany and Switzerland in various cities and venues, 4 years in Ayia Napa where i was resident at Ayia Napa’s first ‘superclub’ Club Abyss, 5 years in Paphos and so on. Some of the major event promoters and club nights i have played for include : Fantazia, Obsession, Dance Planet, Dreamscape, AWOL, Cultural Vibes, Enjoy Project, Essence, Flava, Disco Biz Kids and many more!!

I have also played at other events including The Bulldog Bash (which is an annual bikers rally/festival founded by the Hell’s Angels). Not to forget a fair few free parties across the South-West over the years, the most notorious of these i would suspect being the Spiral Tribe parties in Cornwall in the late 80’s and early 90’s, i am still recovering now!!

5. Who are some of the ‘big name’ DJ’s that you have warmed up for or played with over the years? :

I have had the pleasure of playing alongside some of the U.K’s finest mixmasters over the years. I have warmed up for the likes of Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, Jeremy Healy, LTJ Bukem, Top Buzz, K-Klass, Shades Of Rhythm, Nomad, Rat Pack, Ellis Dee, Trevor Rockliffe, DJ Hype, Fabio, Grooverider, DJ Rap, Kenny Ken, Jason Kaye, DJ E.Z, DJ Luck & Mc Neat, to name but a few!!

Big up each and every one for sharing the musical love and being instrumental in helping to unite us all as one big happy dance music family.

6. Where are you currently playing? :

I am currently playing as resident at Annabel’s Nightclub & Discotheque on the Barbican in Plymouth where you can find me most Saturday’s playing a wide selection of sounds from R’n’B to Chart, Old-Skool/House, Disco/Funk and Reggae, with the main objective of keeping the native’s happy but also with the hidden agenda of introducing a little something fresh and new to their musical diets!! 😉

I am also getting to do my own thing at The Bread and Roses on Ebrington St every month or so, where i can be found playing mainly house, nu-disco and indie dance but perhaps also some funk and a little classic old-skool depending on the theme of my particular night.

I am also DJ’ing at a number of other individual club events and private functions when the opportunity arises at various venues.

As many of my friends are now at the age when they are settling down, i am actually going to be DJ’ing for a number of friends weddings next year with 5 already in my diary!!…’always the bridesmaid’…hehe 😉

7. Three tunes that have influenced the direction of your sets over the years? :

This for me is an extremely difficult question as i have been playing for 29 years and cross many genres in my sets nowadays, whittling that down to a mere 3 is more than tough but i will try!!

Rufus and Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody.

I fell in love with this track the first time i heard it (played by Henry Oxford in Rockafellas i do believe) and i am indeed forever smitten. It doesn’t necessarily influence the direction of my sets that much to be honest, but it is certainly one of the records that means the most to me overall and the one that i still play week in, week out come rain or shine. It just doesn’t get any better in my eyes and has influenced me massively in so many ways that the story just has to be told!!…i will never get bored of hearing and dancing to this track.

Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy.


Once again not really a track that has influenced the direction of my sets purely for the fact that i only ever tend to drop it late on so that would be tough, but one that deserves the highest of accolades and represents so much of everyone’s hearts that it just can’t be denied. An absolutely stunning musical masterpiece that hits home a true message, paint’s a story and breathes nothing but life into all it’s listeners. It’s influence to me on many levels is paramount.

New Order – Blue Monday.

This track has most definitely always influenced the direction of my sets. One of the most influential electronic songs of all time, one that i hold dear to my thumping mechanical heart and one that is so versatile and open in it’s make up as to allow me to move in any direction. It does sometimes have the power to take me to places which i did not intend to go, subliminally persuading me to think outside of the box and the next minute i know it i suddenly find myself in wonderland!! An epic piece of work highly influenced by the likes of disco legend Donna Summer and of course by the godfathers of electronica themselves…Kraftwerk…’how does it feel?’.

There you go, although perhaps a little obvious these 3 tracks are ones which have massively influenced me in one way or another over the years and therefore deserve that recognition.

That’s all folks!! 🙂

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