Robin Crutchfield

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Robin Crutchfield
RobinCrutchfieldPerformArtist.jpg
Background information
Birth name Robin Lee Crutchfield
Born (1952-09-08) 8 September 1952 (age 62)
Dayton, Ohio, USA
Genres No Wave, Electronic, Psychedelic Folk
Occupations Artist, Musician, Writer
Instruments Keyboards, Harp
Years active 1977-Present
Labels Lust/Unlust, Plexus, Nigh Eve, Daft, Hand/Eye, Important
Associated acts DNA, r.l. crutchfield's Dark Day, Dark Day
Website The Official Robin Crutchfield Artist Page

Robin Crutchfield is an American artist. He is best known as one of the founding musicians of the former New York No Wave scene. He has performed at such hallowed musical grounds as CBGB's, Max's Kansas City and Artist's Space; as well as had his work on display at prestigious venues like MoMA and The Whitney Museum of American Art.[1]

Biography[edit]

Born in Ohio, Robin moved to New York in the mid-1970s. He was a performance artist in the SoHo and Tribeca art scene before becoming an original member of the seminal No Wave[2] band DNA alongside Arto Lindsay and Ikue Mori. He played keyboards in the first version of the band, getting to work with musical luminary Brian Eno on the seminal No New York album. Robin left the band to form his own group in 1979.[3] His band, Dark Day, explored wide varieties of keyboard and synthesizer textures and went through several lineup changes. Early on Robin worked with Ninal Canal of Ut, and Nancy Arlen of Mars.[4] Towards the end of the band's existence Crutchfield, now working solo, explored a style somewhat reminiscent of European medieval and baroque music.

In 1978 Robin dabbled in acting, taking a small part in cult New York film director Amos Poe's The Foreigner.[5] As well as acting, Crutchfield, true to the DIY attitude of the punk movement, created his own record label, Nigh Eve, on which he released many of his albums.

Crutchfield resumed Dark Day as a solo act in the late 1990s, returning to a familiar electronic sound but with a noticeable natural progression. The albums that followed saw his music turn away from the cold synthesizer textures he'd become known for. In the year 2000 Robin's music was used in the Bravo television series First Person created by Errol Morris.[6]

In early 2002, after a twenty-year hiatus, Crutchfield resumed both painting and writing. His work centered around fairy tales and his music changed to reflect this. By the summer of that same year Crutchfield had exhibited both his new images and words at a gallery show curated by Norman Shapiro at the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation entitled Verbal/Visual/Tactile: Book Artist's Show.[7]

In 2008, Marc Masters, a contributing writer for The Wire magazine, published his book entitled No Wave. The book, as its name implies, focuses solely on the No Wave scene and features many sections on both DNA and Dark Day, as well as performance and promotional photographs of Crutchfield from that time period.[8] Robin is also featured in Simon Reynolds post-punk opus Rip It Up and Start Again.[9]

As of 2009, Robin has worked with noted independent label Important Records to release his fourth CD of harp/drone folk music entitled The Hidden Folk, which has received rave reviews from both critics and fellow contemporaries such as Kurt Weisman, and Thurston Moore.[10] In late 2009 Crutchfield decided to enter the publishing world with a short book entitled Eleven Faerie Tales. Expanding his world of faeries from music into the written word, Robin used the creation of these fairy tales as a kind of therapy, to best express the emotions he had felt dealing with particularly difficult relationships or friendships over the years. These eleven tales deal with what it means to be a person, living through all the ups and downs of love, while trying to get to the very heart of what makes up our lives.[11] Robin still lives in New York City and continues to create and be involved with the art world, most recently guest deejaying for Ceci Moss on East Village Radio.[12]

Discography[edit]

With DNA
  • "You & You" b/w "Little Ants", 1978 - Lust/Unlust Music
  • No New York: various artists (Four DNA tracks), 1978 - Antilles
  • DNA on DNA, 2004 - No More Records
As Dark Day
  • "Hands in the Dark" b/w "Invisible Man", 1979 - Lust/Unlust Music
  • Exterminating Angel, 1980 - Lust/Unlust Music
  • "Trapped" b/w "The Exterminations 1-6", 1981 - Lust/Unlust Music
  • Window, 1982 - Plexus USA
  • Darkest Before Dawn, 1989 - Nigh Eve Productions
  • Dark Day Collected: 1978-1982, 1998 - Daft Records
  • Strange Clockwork, 1999 - Self-released
  • Loon, 2000 - Self-released
  • Robin Crutchfield reading from The White Things, 2001 - Self-released
  • The Happy Little Oysters, 2001 - Self-released
  • Fifty: A Half-Life, 2002 - Self-released
  • Dark Day: Strange Clockwork, 2003 - Nigh Eve Recordings
  • Strange Remains, 2005 - Self-released
As Robin Crutchfield
  • SongsForFaerieFolk, 2006 - Self-released
  • ToadstoolSoup, 2006 - Nigh Eve Recordings
  • For Our Friends In The Enchanted Otherworld, 2007 - Hand/Eye
  • The Hidden Folk, 2009 - Important Records

Bibliography[edit]

  • Eleven Faerie Tales, 2009 - Nigh Eve Publications

References[edit]

External links[edit]