Chicago born, Brooklyn based duo Gilligan Moss have released their debut, self-titled album, out today on Foreign Family Collective. As sunny and tropical as a trip to Gilligan’s Island (at least most of the time), Gilligan Moss open up to promise of a better spring with this album. The pair have cut their teeth making remixes for the likes of The Knocks & SOFI TUKKER and Sébastien Tellier, while also stepping up with singles and EPs interspersed over the past several years.
The S/T is for those who need the summer to arrive and with this LP, it is here (figuratively). The mixture of indie-dance, disco, deep house and synth-pop blends together impeccably. “Leaving the Station” opens as a rock track, but then transitions into a full-fledged disco floor-filler. There are plenty of other bangers on the record, like “Special Thing” with some Nile Rodgers-esque disco and a bird call to feel au naturale. “Slow Down” has two different view points. On he one hand, it says to find a cold drink and lay out by the pool, but also one can’t help but to have a little dance. “Joy 2 the World” lives up to the name, as do many of the songs on the record.
However, it isn’t all just dancing. “Ultraparadiso” is a bit dreamier and hazier, while “Vibe Check” is a mellow and deeper house tune that serves as a little pause in the middle of a set. The album eventually ends with “Slow Down” as a lethargic finale to the record with slurred vocals that sound they are played at half speed.
A lot of this album was done with a slew of different synths and other gear, so we asked Gilligan Moss to show us How It Was Made. They break down the synths, mics and more that was used to craft this album in upstate New York. Listen to the project now, pick up your copy here and read below as you take it in.
1. Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet-6
We love this synth for its sequencer & arpeggio functions, among many other things. It’s a very warm and intuitive synth and we will often route midi to it and scan through a huge bank of sounds to find something that suits our needs. We used it throughout the album; “Special Thing,” has a big breakdown, and this synth does most of the heavy lifting.
2. Roland Juno-106
A test piece! Love this old and wonky synth- great for square wave sounds, little blips and blops and we love hacking around on it. It’s extremely versatile to us and was used for a couple sequences on the record.
3. Roland System-1
We are mega fans of the SH-101, and have loved a software version of the synth for a very long time. It can be really menacing, but also warm and fuzzy. This thing came in handy particularly during our live shows, but played a couple roles on the record- for some beautiful squelches on “Ultraparadiso” in particular. Also on “Leaving the Station,” for the big menacing synth blasts.
4. Teenage Engineering OP-1
This thing is the ultimate creative tool for when we’re in a rut. It’s intentionally designed to distract your brain from overthinking things, so we reserve it for those moments when we need a super boost. It’s quite fun to dub vocals into- it’s really easy to pitch them around and get strange textures. We’ve done that on “Joy 2 the World,” and “Special Thing.” I think “Vibe Check,” too.
5. Neumann TLM 103
Picked this up towards the end of the record, but it’s been a game changer for us. We had a (maybe good, maybe bad) habit of recording everything with dynamic mics and not thinking too hard about it, but we’re feeling more able to explore our vocal ranges with this bad Larry.
6. Vortex Race 3
This thing CLACKS harder than anything on the market. There is nothing more satisfying than hitting those Ableton shortcuts and getting that crunchy tactile feedback. It is maybe the most important piece of gear on the record.
7. Korg Minilogue
Maybe the most handsome synth we have. It’s similar to a Juno in my mind where it’s just super versatile and can do pretty much any sound you want. One place you can hear the Minilogue shine is on “World Service” in the little fade out synth solo. We’ll have to do an extended version of that song, because I love the sound of that patch at the end of “World Service.”
8. Native Instruments Maschine
This was the first thing we ever bought way back in our early days making songs like “Choreograph” and “Hemlock.” We didn’t get the newer version until the very end of the album process, so it wasn’t used a ton on this record. In general, we’re always looking for new ways to slice a sample. I think it’s nice to have 5-6 ways of approaching a sample, and ultimately Maschine is really great at giving you a bunch of those different angles into a sample.
9. Valhalla Suite (VintageVerb, UberMod, SuperMassive)
Like a lot of other musicians, our most commonly used plugins are Valhalla. Most of the reverbs, weird delays, spatial effects are all from the different Valhalla plugins. These guys are super affordable, easy to use, and sound awesome – would 10/10 recommend these if you’re just starting out.