British singer and songwriter David Thomas Broughton considers himself a folk musician, albeit with a 21st century twist. He employs modern sampling technology in his work, more often than not using his own guitar playing, percussion, and vocals as source material. He also uses digitally enhanced field recordings, loops, and "found" instruments. Broughton's recordings also make use of an in-the-moment m.o.: he often cuts tunes in one take no matter the end result. His debut album, The Complete Guide to Insufficiency, appeared on Birdwar via Plug Research in 2005 and was a fine showcase for this methodology; it was met with generally positive reviews by the English press. Recorded at a church in Leeds, the set contained five long pieces that displayed all of his aforementioned production idiosyncracies. The album was followed in 2006 by the much more modestly recorded Anchovies EP, and in 2007 by the It's in There Somewhere album. His first full-length collaboration, David Thomas Broughton vs. 7 Hertz, also appeared that year.
Broughton toured the U.K. and Europe relentlessly, and in 2010 released the Boating Disasters EP on Static Caravan. His touring continued throughout the year, though he found time to begin recording his sophomore album, Outbreeding, which was finished in early 2011 and released in June by Golden Lab. After living in North Korea and working for the UN, he moved to Seoul, South Korea, where he worked for an organization that conserved the habitats of migratory water birds. His second collaborative effort, this one with the Juice Vocal Ensemble and titled Sliding the Same Way, was issued in the early fall of 2014 by Edinburgh, Scotland's Song by Toad label. It proved the most overtly "folk" album in his catalog.
Throughout his travels and as he released other recordings, Broughton had been working on an expansive work in pieces from 2012 on. With a host of collaborators who included Beth Orton and Sam Amidon, he recorded various musical parts and vocals in France, the U.K., and the United States. Titled Crippling Lack, its theme was strongly informed by the number three. To honor this strategy, Broughton recorded a 12-song, 140-minute triple LP, and convinced three different labels to issue one part apiece on three different dates. Crippling Lack, Vol. 1 was released through Song by Toad in April 2016, Vol. 2 by France's LeNoizeMaker in May, and Vol. 3 by Brooklyn's Paper Garden Records in June. ~ Thom Jurek