Austin Wilkinson & Benji Craig of Jensen Sportag return from the edge of obscurity with A New Anthology. Sourced from a vault of 150 unpublished demos amassed over 10 years of private home studio sessions, Cascine owner Jeff Bratton first distilled the pile to 40, and then curated it further to an essential 12. Wilkinson describes the compilation as “a humble reconciliation of a decade in silence.” True music does not rush, or age – it trickles to life at the pace circumstances allow. On A New Anthology, the pair’s smooth and jazzy touch is as finessed and expressive as ever, navigating an eclectic gallery of tempos, moods, and shades of romantic funk.
Since becoming high school friends in rural Northern Tennessee, Wilkinson and Craig quickly discovered a shared musical language: “We've always agreed on how music sounds.” Early loves of MIDI jazz and 90's warehouse rave tapes slowly blossomed into their own exploratory house and synth-pop. Throughout the early 2000s they experimented constantly, pushing the limits of style and software capabilities while performing sporadically in the Southeast with a variety of shifting monikers and styles. Finally resting on the mnemonic of Jensen Sportag, the late aughts brought out a warmer melodic sound in the duo leading to performances with LCD Soundsystem and Girl Talk, plus their first Cascine EP in 2011.
But soon after their Stealth Of Days LP (2013), they inexplicably pushed pause, stepped back into their agrarian roots, and re-centered – but never stopped making music. "We have a very tight knit file-sharing relationship." The virtual tag-team weaves their tracks with slinky bass, neo-soul pads, swooning voice, and software glitch, smearing scenes and influences from breezy yacht-rock to a survey of bygone electronic micro-genres into a vibe and vision entirely their own. From fiber optic balladry (“Zebra,” "Silhouettes") and hypnagogic R&B ("Rb Blue") to slick steppers ("Zaeta," "Monsters And Illusions") and big room bangers (“Militaire Kit,” “Brothers Disc”). Jensen Sportag make dance music that is liquid and limitless, aimed less at the club than at the discerning ear of the imaginative listener.
A New Anthology will be released on Dec 8, 2023.