It is argued that continuum realizations of distributions of collisionless charged particles should accommodate a dynamically evolving number of electric currents even if the continuum is composed of only one species of particle, such as electrons. A model is proposed that self-consistently describes the interaction of such a continuum and its electromagnetic field. It is formulated using a Lagrangian approach and employs a 'folded' flow map to describe the bulk particle motion. An asymptotic perturbation scheme is developed to analyse ultra-relativistic multi-component current configurations. The model is fully relativistic and is formulated over Minkowski spacetime using intrinsic tensor field theory.