Out of Time by Mike LazarevRelease date: February 26, 2021
Label: Injazero Records
Out of time is a phrase that has been both used and misused in music for various purposes. In either case, it sticks out, for better or for worse. In the case of London-based, Ukraine-born composer Mike Lazarev, and his Out of Time mini-album, it can certainly be the former. Firstly, at ten tracks it is quite a generous offering for something that bears the characterization of a mini album.
Secondly, many might be put off when they find out that Out of Time is a piano-dominated album. Now, these days, piano albums are dime-a-dozen, many of them sounding like cups of tea with too many lumps of sugar in them, leaving quite a bitter taste afterward.
Lazarev’s album is like a cup of tea with sugar in it. But, it is such a musical cup of tea where both the tea and sugar are very well balanced, neither taking over the other overwhelmingly. Also, Lazarev adds understated orchestration to the proceedings that give the music the additional touch it certainly needs.
So, why out of time as the title? “I’ve imagined scenes, scenarios, and conversations,” Lazarev says, “where music would enhance a fictitious story.” To fit this profiling, Lazarev presents the music in form of miniatures that seemingly last a brief moment, something that would fit any movie.
And yes, he is able to create that cinematic experience he is striving for with his almost minimalistic style that counts both on the notes and the silence between them. Maybe that mini in this mini-album has more to do with musical minimalism, but one that has a maxi effect.