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FEAR OF MISSING OUT Relive the '90s on Debut EP '96': Exclusive First Listen

FOMO
Eugene Lee

FOMO

J.KELR of Blended Babies and OMRIII of Midnight Swim Club have joined forces as FEAR OF MISSING OUT, a producer-singer duo that made their love of the 1990s clear on their debut EP, 96. While it officially releases on Dec. 8, Billboard is exclusively premiering it a day early.

"We’ve been working together for about four years,” the two told Billboard in a joint statement. “Whenever we’d get together, our working chemistry was evident. And not long ago, we finally found the sound we were looking for."

The three-track EP relives the ‘90s without veering into revivalism. All three songs are covers of hits from later in the decade updated to feel like they belong in 2017.

“We often feel as if we never left the ‘90s,” the duo said. “No Roland synthesizers were harmed in the making of this project."

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FOMO previously released the EP’s first track, a cover of Aaliyah’s “One in a Million,” on Dec. 1. Their rendition puts a new spin on the old school R&B with a meticulously constructed assortment of sounds, like wah-wah effects and trap elements. The opening verse feels closer to the original sexy slow jam, but then a cacophony of electronica blares during the chorus.

The second track covers Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack.” The updated track contrasts with Morrison’s soaring vocal intro as OMRIII’s voice almost sounds murky with all of the effects burying it, offset by the surrounding chopped and pitched vocal loop. The original buoyant R&B hit is transformed into a slower track adorned with pulsating electronic flourishes.

Then Janet Jackson’s “Go Deep” is reimagined as a miasma of twinkling synths and triple hi-hats. The bass-heavy jam is worthy of blaring your speakers.

The FOMO members have previously worked with big names in their respective projects. J.KELR has production credits with Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar, and OMRIII has worked as a vocal blend for D’Angelo, Erykah Badu and Donny Hathaway. But this time around, they’re front and center.

The duo will perform at their album release show at Tenants of the Trees in Los Angeles on Thursday night.

Listen to FOMO’s 96 below.

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