photo by Karen Tua Walker

Machine translations

First released in 2002 by Machine translations on their seminal Happy album, She Wears A Mask is being re-released in 2020 by Half A Cow to give solace to all those struggling with their Covid masks during this difficult time. Written and recorded in a building site shed on a bush block south of Sydney, the song came together quickly and became one of the band’s most successful tracks.


J. Walker records under the name Machine translations and has released around nine albums since 1997, originally through Way Over There (for the first three) and on Spunk! Records since 2001. The band’s music has been described as falling “happily between the musical chairs of pop and art, incorporating guitar rock, eastern instruments, fragmented loops and sing-along choruses”. The most recent Machine translations album Oh and the vinyl release of Happy can be found at over at the Spunk website.

The first album re-released on Half A Cow is Holiday in Spain which first came out in 1999. Walker co-produced the album with Kimmo Vennon and the album features Kirsty Stegwazi, Andy Lewis (RIP) and Jonathan Nix amongst the revolving band of musicians who appear on Machine translations albums. Reviews of the album at the time included Kelsey Munro (Sydney Morning Herald): “a criminally ignored underground classic” and Comes with a Smiles Matt Dornan, who poetically wrote: “no disguising the homemade feel of both music and sparse packaging, but there’s certainly a twisted core to this antipodean walkabout through sonic pastures new”.

Happy was Machine translations fifth album and their second on Spunk Records, following 2001’s Bad Shapes. It includes the song “She Wears A Mask” which received a lot of airplay around Australia, and, as a reviewer wrote, “one that everybody loved; a wistful track that’s beautiful, simple and catchy.”

If you could sum up Happy in two words, they would be weird and wonderful. The New York Times described it as a “precious mix of light orchestration, inward-gazing songwriting and post-rock experimentation”.

In mid-2019 Spunk Records released the album on vinyl for the first time and the cd is also available from them as well. Half A Cow has been put in charge of getting Happy up there in the digital age. Follow the links!

Melbourne launch of Happy vinyl release!

Buy Music

She Wears A Mask


Holiday In Spain



Holiday In Spain (1999)
released on Way Over There (1999)
re-released on Half A Cow (2019)

All songs written, recorded and produced and mixed by J. Walker

Marianthe Loucataris vocals on Eat The Flowers
drum sample on Alien Dance
Jonathan Nix vocals on Eat The Flowers
Steve Appel vocals on Eat The Flowers
Kirsty Stegwazi vocals on Life’s Dangerous
Andy Lewis bass on Brand New Day
Ralf Rehak drum samples on Life’s Dangerous

Post Production Kimmo Vennonen
Artwork Dillon Hicks and J. Walker
Mastering Don Bartley

Copyright J. Walker 1999

released on Spunk Records (2002)
re-released on Half A Cow (2019)

Written, Produced and Recorded by J. Walker 2002
Mastered by Franc Tetaz
Photography by Jonathan Nix
Artwork by Downie Breitkreuz Group
Published by Mushroom Music