If reinvention is the key to immortality, Chris Parson is going to live forever. Chameleonic in style as in name, the visionary DJ/producer has shed many skins, each one broadening his bite further up the food chain. To veterans of the electronic dance community, he is widely remembered as junglist Crisp Arson. To the more recent wave of rave, he is Parson – lead pilot for Run DMT (est. 2011) and crime-fighting beermonger for Irresponsible Voltron (est. 2008). These nights, he operates as Spud Crowley – critical thinker, feather-ruffler of social media, and composer of metaphysical, bass-riddled wizardry. Once recognized as a pioneer of North American dubstep, the native Texan has since evolved to embrace a sound that spans more of his musical influences and individual prowess. Weaving time, moods and dimensions, he aesthetically connects the cerebral and the spiritual, pairing knowledge and dance. With vinyl releases on Planet Mu, Creative Space Records and Dubline Audio, as well as a decade-long enterprise as resident at Austin’s famed bars Plush and Barcelona, Chris Parson is truly a bona fide music-maker.
After a brief stint at Otis College of Art and Design in LA, the border Texan moved to the capital city in 1997, and in 2001, dug his roots into the underground bar known as Plush, where he founded the longest running DnB weekly in Austin to date. After a five-year stretch booking and performing every Tuesday, the restless Plush fixture made the move to Barcelona – Austin’s notorious Sixth Street basement bar – and shifted his work week to Thursday nights. During his four-year residency with collective Irresponsible Voltron, Chris drove his production the route of dubstep and made history.
As his DJing captivated crowds in Austin and beyond, Parson the producer went global. He received the Best International Newcomer Dubstep Forum award in 2006, and his remix on Ramadanman’s label won Best Digital Release the following year. Undeniably, 2007 was a catalytic moment for him as his creations caught fire through prestigious vehicles Planet Mu (2007) and Dubline Audio (2007). His tracks “Throw Some Ds” and “Texas Crawl” gained such fierce popularity, Mary Anne Hobbs of BBC Radio 1 deemed Parson the inventor of “chopped and screwed” dubstep – a Texas-bred style that has since been imitated, but never replicated. His discography continued to ignite with releases on La Dubstep Nostra (2008), Creative Space Records (2009), and with a remix of Wu-Tang Clan’s “Now or Never” (2009). As Run DMT, he released on Teenage Riot Records, Play Me Too Records, P5 Records and Heavy Artillery Recordings; but when the joint endeavor went supernova, a disenchanted Chris detached from the duo.
After touring huge festivals around the country and leaving a trail of releases in Belgium, the UK, Greece, the US and Japan in his stead, Chris Parson’s focus is now back on the elements: back to where rock meets wood to spark fire. In 2013, he returned to Plush as Spud Crowley, with a Wednesday bass-heavy residency known simply as Baked, where he continues to construct the legacy that’s made him an Austin mainstay.
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