Let's talk about the weather. About how the weather and music are similar. The weather is always around us; it can make us melancholy like rain slipping down a windowpane, it can cheer us like the sun warming the asphalt. The perfect setting for listening to the music of Sonia Brex is a sultry summer evening in a big city. When the day isn't quite over but the night hasn't quite begun. When rays of red-orange sun fall through the gaps between tall buildings and the concrete underfoot is still warm. A knowing innocence runs through the songs on the album "Naif", an ease which remains even when the music slows to a more melancholy mood, as in the soft rhythms of "Lampada" or the smoothly introverted title track. And even a musical hommage to horror film director George Romero flows from the hands of zombie film fan Sonia Brex with relaxed serenity. "Naif" is an album glowing with unshakable optimism. It's also there as she opens up the music to include influences from around the world - at times she whispers like Astrud Gilberto over a gentle bossa nova rhythm, then she playfully covers the 1940's classic from the USA "A Little Bird Told Me". The listener stumbles over slivers from Chinese opera and 70's Italian film soundtracks, a humming jaw harp, the traditional Italian tarantella dance or a dissected jazz sax solo layered over elegantly shuffling beats. Beats is an appropriate catchword, electronic music being the basis of her album. Synthesizer drones and digital bass drums set the pace. Sonia Brex takes full advantage of the benefits the genre offers. Electronic music is at its best when it sets everything in relation to everything else. A master of this approach is Matthew Herbert. His influence can be heard clearly on "Naif". Sonia Brex has lived in Berlin since 1990, leaving her Sicilian homeland for the city which changed the course of history when the wall was toppled. The German capital was also home to many of her musical idols - Einstürzende Neubauten and Nick Cave for example. Life in Berlin proved freer and more inspiring than in conservative southern Italy. And so she remained, working on multimedia projects at the Akademie der Künste and in collaborations with Berlin-based artists Rechenzentrum and Jazzanova. But Brex also imports a bit of home: Aperix events, an Italian tradition bringing friends together after work for music and refreshment. Bringing people and music together is the underlying theme running through "Naif" as well as the main goal of Sonia Brex. And because music is like the weather, "Naif" warms even without the summer sun - the songs shine from the heart all by themselves.
Hendrik Lakeberg (De:Bug)
"[...]Alles wurde so elegant zurechtgeschliffen und artig in den Beats zum Electronica-Pop geschaukelt, zu dem Sonia Brex auch zurückhaltend genug singt, dass hier keine wirklichen Brüche zu hören sind.Unaufdringlich kräuselt die Musik mit ihren Zehen und tänzelt vor sich hin und nimmt es einem nicht allzu krumm, wenn man sich zwischendurch mit den Ohren mal entfernt und sich aus seinem Sessel schält und einen neuen Cocktail holen" "[...]Everything has been elegantly polished and nicely cradled in electronica-pop beats, over which Sonia's singing is just low key enough to keep it seamless. Unobtrusively the music wiggles its toes and dances here and there and does not take it amiss if the listener takes his ears away for a moment to go to the bar to get another cocktail" Thomas Mauch(taz Plan)
"'Naif' warms even without the summer sun - the songs shine from the heart all by themselves" - Hendrik Lakeberg (De:Bug)
"Selbst wer kein Fan von Lounge-Musik ist, muss zugeben: Sonia Brex weiss, was sie tut. Souveraen mischt sie ihre Samples, Sounds und Stimme zusammen, und das Ergebnis kann sich hoeren lassen. Mit diesem Album kann auch der Herbst kommen - mit der richtigen Beschallung macht auch Melancholie Spass." - Claire Horst (Aviva Berlin)
"A Berlin and artworld mainstay unafraid of minor 7 chords and other jazzy errata, Sonia Brex's unclassifiably eclectic semi-electropop maintains a calmness at its center that should appeal to fans of Barbara Morgenstern, Gudrun Gut and other considered and considerate types." From the Popkomm Blog entry "Ask the Experts" by D. Strauss, who is Senior Editor of EXBERLINER Magazine.
"Zusammen mit ihrem Co-Produzenten Salvo Dub hat sie schicke bis fette Elektro-Pop-Perlen zusammengestellt, die weder mit knusprigen Beats geizen noch mit sportlichem Dance-Appeal. Eine Scheibe fuer alle Gelegenheiten. urban, schick, intelligent, humorvoll und gespickt mit coolen Ideen." Sound and Image, 22.9.2010
"[good times] is a refreshing take on a song that has become a bit stale, although it's not helping that we've heard Chic's version 3 million times already. Nile rodger's plucky bassline has been replaced by a steady electronic mimic, and can I say how much I love that lushpiano that trickles in and out? It complements Brex' subdued voice quite nicely, and her slight accent adds even more eloquence." Records-Racks
"Très élegant ist aber die originelle Coverversion der Chic-Hits "Good Times"." Folker 06 2010
"The sultry, techno-pop tunes of "Naif" move in undulating tones with minimal lyrics that come from Brex's soulful, easing voice, as each track moves forward effortlessly in a seemingly natural and rythmically-propelled motion." Wend Blog
"Die aus Sueditalien stammende Berlinerin besinnt sich puenktlich zum Beginn der grauen Jahreszeit auf den "Fruehling in Berlin", und bei dieser warmen musikalischen Interpretation kann man sich auch durchaus versucht fuehlen, seinen Latte auch im November vor der Tuer einzunehmen." "For the beginning of the cold time of year the berliner from southern Italy evokes the "Frühling in Berlin" and with this warm musical interpretation one is tempted to enjoy one's Latte on the porch even in November." Raveline 2 November 2010
"At [naif]'s heart there is a welcome simplicity to this that actually shows deep intelligence, wether on "A Mors Taranta", which uses small fragments to create a tarantella, or the post-jazz "Smoky Town"." Chris Nickson, allmusic.com
"Naif is an album [...] glowing with unshakable optimism." Groovemine Oct 2010
"[...] Hier steckt so viel Finesse, Liebe und auch Konsequenz im Detail, dass es eine wahre Freude ist." "[this album] has so much finesse, love and also consistency, that it's a real pleasure." Livestyle Saarland Nov 2010
"A Sicilian expatriate living in Berlin, Sonia Brex sings and writes cosmopolitan pop songs at once contemporary and yet filled with fleeting memories of music past." Express Milwaukee 27 Dec 2011