'Activated Clown'

by S. Araw Trio XIII

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $12 USD  or more


  • Cassette + Digital Album

    Professionally duplicated cassette tape to the highest quality. Includes full-color insert and digital download coupon.
    ★ First edition comes with a color-printed translucent acetate J-card.

    Includes unlimited streaming of 'Activated Clown' via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 14 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $12 USD or more 




NNA is excited to host the latest recording from S. Araw Trio XIII, a group of musicians dedicated to electronic musical freedom, under the guidance of visionary Los Angeles-based psych-maestro Cameron Stallones, aka Sun Araw. Stallones has been diligently active over the last decade, utilizing psychedelic pop as the foundation for creative expression, while also delving into electronic music, dub, ambient and more through a focused and personal visionary lens. Sun Araw’s recordings have found their home on labels such as Drag City, Not Not Fun, Woodsist, Thrill Jockey, and most recently his own Sun Ark imprint. Joined by Tomo Jacobson and Jon Leland, the Trio XIII is dedicated to improvisational exploration in the live setting, traveling the globe and sharing profound musical connections. Their latest recording ‘Activated Clown’ was recorded live in Braga, Portugal and presents some of their most intrepid, otherworldly improvisations to date.

Divided into two distinct long-form pieces themed around Day and Night, ‘Activated Clown’ draws it’s inspiration not only from the steamy climate and lush landscapes of Portugal, but also from focused viewings of paranormal sci-fi horror films, 80s nine-ball billiards matches, and a steady diet of coffee and veggie alheira sausage. This bizarre concoction of stimuli, however random it may seem, helped give birth to a set of future-minded MIDI jazz suites that enthusiastically scratch the outer limits of live improvised electronic music. “Hermeto Tume,” representing Day, conveys an upbeat, active, dance-like celebration that dissolves into pure abstraction, with sparkling aquatic gestures trickling forth in a gentle cacophony of acoustic percussion, guitar scribbles, and synthetic washes. “Mantis Suite: Invitation To Love,” representing Night, operates in a more subdued, blissful sector of deep space, patiently evolving into staccato, conversationally open and melodic zones of electric relaxation. Both pieces exhibit a careful attention to texture, melody, and space, creating an open channel for three creative minds to function as a single exploratory unit, hungry and avid for the unlocking of new sounds.

These rich and vivid pieces that comprise ‘Activated Clown’ contain a unique, crystalline essence, showcasing an incredibly strong improvisational relationship between the three players. There is a controlled, simmering hysteria that walks the line between hallucinatory madness and equatorial relaxation, as traditional instruments such as whistles, shakers, and Fender Rhodes licks jive casually alongside warped synthesis, electronic drums, and truly extra-terrestrial textures. There is an essence and atmosphere of jazz at play in these recordings, but it is unlike the jazz we are accustomed to hearing here on Spaceship Earth… perhaps on some distant, interplanetary nightclub, ‘Activated Clown’ would be heard as an old standard, seldom accessed by the bipedal flesh creatures of our humble planet. That being said, ‘Activated Clown’ is a crucial document of an innovative trio of minds, inspired by their travels and surroundings, capturing the results of a musical bond forged in a specific moment in time and space.


released January 11, 2019


C. Stallones - Fender Rhodes, Yamaha DX7, Guitar
T. Jacobson - Ribbon Controller, Yamaha TQ5
J. Leland - Vdrum-kit, Percussion

Engineered by Budda Guedes
Mixed by Cameron Stallones & Budda Guedes

Recorded during a residency at gnration in Braga, Portugal

Thanks to Luis Fernandes, John Stevens

Cover art by EMOJI_ONLINE


all rights reserved



NNA Tapes Burlington, Vermont

NNA Tapes is a cassette and record label established in 2008 in Burlington, Vermont USA. Founded, operated, and curated by Toby Aronson and Matt Mayer, NNA is dedicated to releasing the highest quality contemporary music on cassette, cd, vinyl, and digital formats. ... more

contact / help

Contact NNA Tapes

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

If you like 'Activated Clown', you may also like: