It’s been six years since musical explorer J. Walker released his last album.
Along with his band, Machine Translations, the musician has been in full swing recording ‘The Bright Door’ – the most orchestral of his works. “A lot of water has gone under the bridge since the last album and I think I've learnt a lot as a musician and a producer,” he says.
“There's a bit more collaboration on this record and I've tried to push the boundaries a bit in terms of the songs I'm writing, and I've had a slightly more orchestral approach to the whole thing.”
Known for his experimentation and unusual instrument selections, ‘The Bright Door’ features many musical layers, another trademark of Walker’s. “The nature of my albums is that they're very layered and complicated. I like that the new album takes its time and has layers in it that, if you're patient with, will keep unfolding.”
Another aspect of Walker’s music is his poetic writing style, which has been influenced partly by the Chinese language. “A lot of Chinese language is very compact and simple but it's also complex as well ... I do use some automatic writing techniques and also some subliminal mumbo tracks [as well].”
A producer as well as an artist, Walker gains the most satisfaction from his craft when he’s collaborating with other musicians. “Having produced a lot of [albums for] other people the past four or five years, I've really absorbed a lot of great musical lessons from people I've worked with. I've really liked the fact that I've been influenced by local people rather than by overseas stuff. I feel like I'm becoming more and more of an indigenous Australian musician because I'm just surrounded by talented, local people.”
Looking forward to touring the album, Walker says he’s interested in seeing how the tracks will “evolve” on stage. “I just want people to feel stuff. When I turn up to a gig, I want to have some sort of out-of-body experience and that's always what I'm hoping will happen to my audiences. You're immediately in a more instinctive state of being and it's awesome to spend time in that place.”
Machine Translations play The Hi-Fi Saturday Nov 30. ‘The Bright Door’ is available now.