MR.Slade has your number with his darkly delicious techno take on Blondie’s synth-pop classic Call Me — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“Not only am I a huge Blondie fan, but I thought a song about male sex workers could have a slightly grittier, rougher feel to it,” explains MR.Slade. “Exploring and clashing with sounds that were either feminine and/or masculine together. When I write or compose music, I’m more visual than anything else. I wanted the song to sound like it was being blasted out of someone’s car while parked at the pier in N.Y.C. circa the ’80s. A bit dangerous in feel but with a cheeky nod and wink and an homage to idea that sex can connect us in this sometimes-cold isolated world. Dirty without the shame.”
On the original track, Blondie’s Debbie Harry and co-writer Giorgio Moroder concocted a tumbler of desperately beautiful disco and new-wave beats, blending into a cocktail of need and want. Now, MR.Slade has followed the ’80s icons’ lead while simultaneously pointing the song in a new direction. Produced by Neil David McDonald, MR.Slade slides in and around the lyrics in a low-slung homage to Harry’s original seduction.
“My music is an extension of my beliefs, both political and spiritual,” he says. “The idea that if you are born a certain way based on your gender, orientation, or race that you are allowed only one avenue of expression. To me that doesn’t work. I started writing music heavily influenced by the DNA of classic rock and ’80s hair metal with a bit of ’90s alternative/grunge/ industrial thrown in. Pretty much everything a Queer South Asian guy had no business in, but a soundtrack for my personal rebellion against society and its rules. I wanted to prove that labels are for soup cans and not people.”
MR.Slade’s interpretation of Call Me not only comes on strong, straight from a dark corner of the club — it also sets the stratosphere for more interpolated disco bangers to make a resurgence on the 2022 dance floor. “I also wanted to explore music that was fun, aggressive, sexy but also questioned our consciousness and our individual roles in making the world a better place for all, while having the most fun doing it,” says MR.Slade.