'Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way’.
Thomas Hardy’s literary masterpiece may have been a play on words, the title an ironic literary joke, as it suggests idealising noiseless and sequestered calm, whereas Hardy "disrupts the idyll, and not just by introducing the sound and fury of an extreme plot ... he is out to subvert his readers' complacency”.
Thomy Sloane’s first full length album in almost 5 years, and his first solo output, is perhaps conceptually akin to Hardy’s title; as ‘Minimalist’ is as far from the frenzied post punk sound of his band BATPISS as one could ever imagine.
‘Minimalist’ is a collection of ten tracks that Sloane recorded and mixed himself from May 2020 until March of 2021 at his house and studio in Woodend, central Victoria. Originally hailing from the inland and somewhat infamous New South Wales town of Goulburn, (home to the first and highest security prison in the country), Sloane is no stranger to the claustrophobic isolation that regional living can possess. The COVID-19 pandemic, with all its foibles and flaws, allowed him the time to concentrate on creating something that has a certain frenzied energy to it, much like the title that the afore mentioned author took from Thomas Gray’s 1751 poem, ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’.