Claudia Bonarelli’s biography has been obscured by mistruth and fiction. The moniker has been posited as that of a young, female Italian activist who was arrested during demonstrations against the G8 in Genoa for inciting people to riot; as a collective name for a collaboration between a number of musicians from the Swedish Mitek label; and as the side project of a high-profile experimental electronic artist from Canada. Consensus would seem to suggest that Bonarelli is actually an alter ego for Johan Fotmeijer, a Malmo, Sweden-based artist. This mysterious biography serves to accentuate the political nature of Bonarelli’s (Fotmeijer’s) work - tracks from the 2002 debut album included ‘Feminist’, ‘Gender’, ‘Manifesto’, and ‘Vaneigem’, the latter name-checking Raoul Veneigem, the Situationist counterpoised to Guy Debord’s political and polemical style. Bonarelli named his/her contribution to the Mille Plateau Clicks And Cuts 3 compilation, ‘Disarm The Police’, while an EP released via the No Type label was entitled May ’68, after the date of revolutionary political protest in Paris (tracks on the release included ‘Consumer Culture’ and ‘Public Transportation’).
Drawing comparison with artists such as Pole, Kit Clayton and musicians on the Chain Reaction label, Bonarelli’s deep and sultry, dub-heavy recordings juxtapose microscopic glitches and clicks with sounds akin to the thud of techno heard through a brick wall. While it may seem peculiar to present political ideas via a genre that eschews words/vocals there is nevertheless something intriguing going on in Bonarelli’s deployment of both myth and music, even if the exact nature of the protest is not always transparent. Bonarelli has also notably released music (as MP3s) via No Type and Komplott.