On the Discogs.com listing for their first-ever release, an untitled full-length from 2006, Jensen Sportag categorized their style as “corrido, electro, chip tune, poetry,” and I think those descriptors still suit their unclassifiable dream-pop aesthetic perfectly. After we heard their eclectic “Wet Mix” back in 2011, we always hoped the Nashville duo of Austin Wilkinson and Benji Craig would make us a great FADER mix someday. That day is today. The hour-long set features nearly 30 different songs: some of their own stuff, some ’80s soul and a lot of esoteric SoundCloud snippets. Download it here, and read an interview with Austin about antiques, blue mushrooms and takeout.
Download: Jensen Sportag’s FADER Mix
Where are you right now? Describe your surroundings. I am at my desk at the art and antiques gallery where I still spend too many of my days. Overhead is a life size portrait of two very scheming-looking lil boys from the late 18th century. I’m fondling a bracelet by Belgian kinetic sculptor Pol Bury as I leaf through a book of his public fountains. When turned on the hand, each of the 23 various sized gold spheres gives their own little wink at gravity as they pivot with a fluidity as if moved by pillars of water.
Sometimes Benji goes by Elvis. How does he decide when to be Elvis and when to be Benji? Benji is three people. There’s Benji, Bonjo and Elvis. Benji is the kindest, most loyal boy you could ever love. Bonjo is a wanderer with a clenched heart that drifts uncatchable. Elvis is all business. When he’s being Elvis, there’s no distracting him.
If this mix was a mushroom, what kind of mushroom would it be? Lactarius indigo commonly known as a the blue milk mushroom. There are some pictured on my Instagram that I found last summer. When disturbed, they leak a brilliant jewel blue stain all over your hands and clothes and then onto your face and the faces of your loved ones.
How do you think of jensen sportag compared to how you did circa 2008? We think of Jensen Sportag in very much the same way actually. We do what we do now for the same reasons we did what we did then. The sound of Jensen Sportag is ever-evolving and devolving and filled with failed experiments and some successful ones. Our motivations are still simply the unique and purely joyful emotion we feel when we make a beautiful sound, and then to layer that sound with another. We’ve dedicated our hearts to multi-track recording and the effect of that simple process never ever gets old. The one big difference is that now we have an amazingly wonderful crew working with us, and we have some beautiful and dedicated fans. It’s a wonderful thing to have known all along that we would always record music the way we want to, that we will always have an opportunity to make it public, and an audience to appreciate it. It’s gonna be a pretty sweet life from now on.
What do you like to cook and how do you make it? Oh man, we really don’t cook. We’ve got these really expensive tastes in food and nice groceries often cost as much as dining out, and then it might not turn out right and then the fucking dishes — nah not into it. When it’s nice out we’re definitely all about some barbecue meat games on the farm but generally ours is an unsustainable lifestyle of fine dining and takeout. I’m especially fond of dining solo at nicely lit bars or fine restaurants. I’ll be the lonely looking guy with the deluxe three-tiered dessert for five.
The Sea Nymphs – Christ Alive
Tokyo Hands – Valleys
Halpo – Wot shud I do?
Benedek – Ease Out
Pender Street Steppers – Bubble World
LA$GEAR – Ashland’s Sister
Obey City – Cloud Lust
Jensen Sportag – Almost Cover Me / Time and Space
A.G. Cook – My Miss 2.0
Jensen Sportag – Included View
Emerald Soul – Stare
Alexander O’neil – Sunshine
Danny L Harle – Construction 2
Jensen Sportag – Under the Rose (demo version)
Maxi Mill – Speed Balance Weight
Jensen Sportag – Be, True, Time, Love
Giganta – Force
400 Blows – Movin (drums)
??? – Be, True, Time, Love
Suzanna Kraft – ESL
Jensen Sportag – M.A.I/ I’m Going/ Deck Down
Jensen Sportag – Simpulsys
Masayoshi Takanaka – Rising Arch
Master B – Pol Burrier
Atom Egoyan – Family Viewing
stay young forever
Jensen Sportag – Triple FM / Licia DRMZ
Benedek – 99Ranch (feat. Groundislava)
Decked Out – Erase