Bonasforsa is a London based duo of beatmakers named after a 16th century Polish queen. Sforsa herself was an ambitious and politically capable monarch, whose family name Sforza means ‘to force’. UNO is less a force, and more a soft, semi-urgent insistence on the ears, shot through with the warp and garble of half-melody and half-rhythm. It is their debut album. The feel of the album is very much encapsulated by the cover art, which depicts an anonymous brutalist structure under a white neon sky. The picture is glitched as though viewed through CCTV. Think Aeon Flux meets the Hayward gallery.


Autostrada presents itself as an amalgam of shifting melodic and rhythmic layers, topped by a repetitive, klaxon-like electronic figure which is mirrored in the bass. Imagine the Grid from Tron, but everything is made out of concrete, and you and your light cycle gang are out after curfew; evading the unblinking eye of the Master Control Program. The track is shot through with improvised synth murmurations, adding to the shifting, morphing figure that comprises the bulk of the texture.

Download the album in its entirety or buy on limited edition cassette here.

Cauliflower Jam

An obscure homage to picallili, in a tracklist otherwise filled with dystopic electro-beats. Cauliflower Jam starts with the soft click and hiss of a record table, a trope which is perhaps a little overused for comfort, and contradictory to the Blade Runner-esque soundscape offered by the opening synth. The Blade Runner reference is both a blessing and a curse for the track. It’s an aesthetic I enjoy, but the track refers too heavily to another work, such that its identity is diminished. That said, the synths and drums fit well with the electrofunk bass, and the beat becomes heavily glitched and garbled which sounded promising, but the track ended literally seconds after this development.


Crossty starts off with a bold bass figuration that plays the age-old bait and switch of misleading the listener as to where the bar lies which is a musical device that excites me. The track is structured with a short monologue sandwiched between two trumpet improvisations (see below). The speech doesn’t really mean anything enough such that it’s really worth saying, and it doesn’t mean nothing i.e. adding only to the aesthetic, which irks me slightly. I feel like if you’re gonna include a sample like this, either have it mean something, or have it be like a still life, significant only in its appearance (or sound). Overall the trumpet kind of makes it sound like a jazz refix that would be played in the café appended to an early noughties art gallery; quite promising, but marred by the voice sample.

“There’s a lot of music being made and there’s a few outlets to expose it through, uh, in any particular town there are a couple of radio stations that play any certain format. In all likelihood they’re playing from a list of 30-40 songs that they just play over and over again. So all this music is being made and people never get to hear it, erm, the idea for me, the, uh, most appealing aspect of interactive music is when you take it online into huge databases of music and sound that people can browse through and describe experiences to.”


Harvey is more lush than the other tracks, and fortunately contains a spoken vocal sample that doesn’t fall into the trap of the one in the previous track i.e. it doesn’t really mean anything. The drums are choppy and almost hesitant; an instantiation of a theme that runs heavily through the album. The track really puts paid to the notion that you can layer sounds which individually are tentative and meandering into a lush and complete listening experience.

Electro Cute

This track uses many well-known electro voices, to evoke a seemingly unending flow of sound. At times this works to deprive the piece of overall structure which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.


I really enjoyed listening to this track. I feel like it embodies the understatement which the album strives for. The track is ornamented by garbled pops and clicks of some alien percussion section, over warped and unrecognizable speech. The piano is a very timely addition and contrasts well with the Hang, which is the instrument that starts the piece off. The tempo is slow, but not plodding, bringing the album to a self-assured end.

Follow us on Soundcloud for more exclusive tracks.

Overall the album is promising – in places monotonous – and very much referring to its own aesthetic arena (i.e. a dystopic electro scape). Improvisation adds a spontaneity but can sometimes subtract from the lyricality of a piece, and sound meaningless, although I’m drawn to think that meaninglessness is perhaps the whole point.

By Max Hird

Download the album in its entirety or buy on limited edition cassette here.