Crutchfield moved to New York in the mid 1970s. He was a performance artist before becoming an original member of the seminal No Wave band DNA with Arto Lindsay and Ikue Mori. He played keyboards in the first version of the band until leaving to form his own group in 1979. His band, Dark Day, explored wide varieties of keyboard and synthesizer textures and went through several lineup changes. Towards the end of the band’s existence, Crutchfield explored a style somewhat reminiscent of European medieval and baroque music.
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 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 2002, Crutchfield had exhibited both his new images and words at a gallery show and furthered his explorations musically.
In 2008, Marc Masters, a contributing writer for The Wire magazine, published his book, entitled No Wave. The book, which as its name implies, focuses solely on the No Wave scene, features many sections on both DNA and Dark Day, as well as performance and promotional photographs of Crutchfield from that time period.
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. 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.