On the eve of the public holiday, OTR kicked off their summer season by inviting the incredibly gifted producer & selector Dan Shake.


The night was also the opening of the recently refurbished venue, the Backyard at Uno Village. This new venue fits the intimate mood that the organisers set when they labelled the event as one “for real house music lovers.”  And this was clearly the case!  OTR is known for gathering a small number of like-minded people to unite and dance together over good music, and it has never been more evident than this night.


The night kicked off with an opening set from newcomer, DJ Steve. At the young age of 18, this youngster has already positioned himself as one of the movers and shakers in the local club scene. On the night, Steve threw in a unique blend of house grooves together with his signature disco sound and received positive feedback as he got early arrivers into the mood.


A few highlights from DJ Steve’s two-hour set include:

As DJ Steve signed off with Rosso’s Normalizo, Nicky Slim took control of the vibe. With Nicky’s positive energy radiating throughout the venue, the crowd were quick to respond by reporting to the dance-floor. Starting off with a groovy, afro-beat vibe, then progressing into some old-school 90s house (my personal favourite of the night being Larry Heard’s Burning 4 You), whilst also throwing in some disco elements, Slim did an excellent job of warming up the crowd for OTR’s special guest of the evening.


Once the crowd were really in the mood, Slim delightedly handed the controls to the charming Dan Shake.


Dan is most recognized for being the first ever non-Detroit artist to be signed to Moodymann’s prestigious, Mahogani Music. This London-based artist has been making his mark across the globe with his distinctive productions and his specialised selections and made sure to do exactly that in Malta too.


The DJ remains true to his name as he opens with a mover that gets the whole crowd shaking.


Although Shake experimented with everything from acid house to funk all throughout the ordeal, there was never a moment where anyone questioned the selector. The highlight of his set was definitely when he dropped Daft Punk’s Burnin’ (Ian Pooley “Cut Up” Mix), after bringing it to light at his Sugar Mountain Boiler Room Set.


The eventful evening ended with a powerful back-to-back set between Dan Shake and Nicky Slim and left the crowd feeling soulfully satisfied and ready for the next.


OTR returns on the 28th July with yet another special guest.


Words by: Amy Zammit

Photos courtesy of: Kim Podesta