Mike Lazarev

‘Lazarev demonstrates a preference for sparse notes that fall like flakes. The space between notes is as important as the notes themselves, begging for reflection and perhaps rumination.’
A Closer Listen

Mike Lazarev was born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1977. At the age of six, his parents sent him to a conservatory while his friends played football in the parking lot. His childhood passed by in the study of classical music and performing in the state choir. As a teenager, with his family, he left the USSR for the USA to escape persecution, freeing him from the strict academic discipline he spent his childhood resisting. However, a year later, music drew him back in: with his family’s first computer (“a Dell 386 with 4 MB of memory!”) he began using a sample-based tracker to make what was known as ‘techno’. By the mid-90s, he had produced a few records. Later still, now in London, he finally brought his own piano, and found a teacher to re-immerse himself in classical music. But, lacking the patience to practice, he turned to reductionist minimalism. Soft, simple, sad piano melodies that somehow leaked from a lost soul.