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Sound Exchange: re:ni and Ploy pick out 10 key records that shaped their taste

In celebration of the Armani Exchange x Smiley FW2022 collection, Mixmag hosted a very special conversation with two of London's experimental favourites

  • In association with Armani Exchange | Photographer: Melissa Gardner
  • 26 October 2022

Last week (October 13), Mixmag in partnership with A|X ARMANI EXCHANGE hosted a very special party to celebrate the launch of the brand's new collaboration with lifestyle brand SmileyWorld®. Ahead of an exclusive B2B, Deaf Test boss Ploy and Illian Tape alum re:ni took us through some of their most important records. Tracks that are key in their craft, tracks that make them emotional and tracks that provide a source of inspiration.

A|X ARMANI EXCHANGE x Smiley World® FW22 has just launched, featuring a capsule collection of key pieces such as bomber jackets, jeans, t-shirts, socks, accessories and footwear — all emblazoned with the iconic Smiley logo. Smiley turns 50 this year, and as the world's most famous emoticon, it seems only fair to pay tribute to this iconic symbol of rave freedom and collective joy. The collection uses sustainable materials and taps into a fresh outlook, utilising the ethos of both brands.

Read this next: Mixmag and A|X Armani Exchange team up for Sound Exchange event with Ploy and re:ni

Taking over A|X ARMANI EXCHANGE Regent Street store, Mixmag invited a crew of music lovers for the Sound Exchange. Ploy and re:ni sat down in conversation with NTS Radio resident Lupini to share some of the records that are the most important to them.

Check them out below.

re:ni's picks

A record that got you into raving? Chase & Status 'Judgement (informer)'

"[I heard this] in this field that was half an hour from my house. Everyone remembers the first time they properly got into the rave. I've got a lot of good memories from that."

A record that encapsulates the joy of rave culture? Andrea Parker 'Melodius Thunk'

"I got this from Rarekind records in Brighton, anytime anyone asks me what raving is about for me and what got me into doing this I always mention this. It's such an amazing record it's so simple, and it's got this amazing bass. For me, raving is about going into a different world and for me, this takes me into a dark swamp. I know for a lot of people rave is about happy hardcore or like, maximum sounds. But for me, this is so stripped-back and minimal, it makes me think of going to No Symbols or Plastic People and dancing in the dark."

A record that makes you cry in the club? Urban Tribe 'Her'

"This record is so technically sharp, it's got a lot of emotion. It's so deep."

A record you use to rescue a dancefloor? Airgoose 'Outernational Wah'

"This is actually one of my dad's tracks. He and his production partner wanted to make a house banger and they obviously succeeded. I was actually playing at a party in South London a few years ago and someone posted this in the Facebook group, just randomly, and one of my friends commented saying: "that's re:ni's dad!" and everyone went mental. The guy who runs the label ended up reissuing it, so it was this weird internet coincidence."

A record you love to end your set on? Swayzak 'llegal (Bigga Bush Version)'

"I think it's good sometimes to just take it down. I first heard Move D playing it at Block and then I played it at Nowadays in New York.

Ploy's picks

A record that got you into raving? Adam F 'Brand New Funk'

"I just remember it was drum 'n' bass. I didn't really understand it that much at that point because I was like 14-15, eventually it led to me going to a rave."

A record that encapsulates the joy of rave culture? Paul Johnson 'Give Me Ecstasy'

"This is sped up a little, It's sounds a bit dated on the record but it's still good."

A record that makes you cry in the club? Oh Yoko 'Seashore' (DJ Sprinkles ambient ballroom mix)

"I don't really cry at the club. Dance music doesn't really make me cry, but if I was going to it would be this one — it's full of emotion and it has a story."

A record you use to rescue a dancefloor? Luke Slater ‎'Body Freefall, Electronic Inform #1' (Slater's Needle Damage Mix)

"If you're doing a techno set, it progresses quite nicely and picks the tempo up. It's good, it's got a lot of momentum to it. It's a really good tool to be honest, it's easy to mix — but obviously if you're not playing this kind of stuff It won't work [laughs]."

A record you love to end your set on? YT 'England a Me Yard'

"It's nice to be able to play a bit of reggae sometimes."

Check out some images from the Sound Exchange event from photographer Melissa Gardner below.

A|X ARMANI EXCHANGE x Smiley World® FW22 is out now, check out the full collection here.

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