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Luminyst enters the bass community with cultural taste and melodic focus [Interview]

Luminyst (formerly SLAVE) is the creative alias of David Timko, a multi-genre bass producer with musical progress in the electronic community. He had roots as a classical pianist prior to discovering rave culture in Pittsburgh at an early age. After years of moonlighting as both a promoter and a DJ, Timko is now a successful self-taught music producer who shares his knowledge and fresh sounds through his collective, Rapture Studios.

His steady yet syncopated beats are surrounded by carefully sculpted sound design fused with stylish yet eerie melodies, unleashing a danceable and hypnotic experience. David aspires to continue growing his music into something far beyond himself for the purpose of improving the world around him. Encouraging people to follow their passions and building community by creating free and safe spaces for radical self-expression and acceptance are intentions he cares about.

Being supported by pioneering artists such as Bassnectar, who performed a live edit of SLAVE’s “Breakthrough” at Freestyle Sessions, is one example of his artistry being approached. David continues to expand his networks so be sure to continue to listen as he shares creative techniques, production, music, scoring, advice, and collaborative efforts. 

Having recently released a collaborative EP, Annihilation, with Visive, and a compilation entitled, Quasar, featuring international sounds, they’re making a bold, expressive statement. We sat down with the rising bass act to discuss a range of topics, from his time as a pianist and teacher, to his creative vision and his business strategy for Rapture, to release of his recent, and more. 

Slave is representative of our collective vision through shared struggles to exist within the confines of a society that fosters division while suppressing free thought & acceptance.” – David Timko

CE: You have an extensive history as a musician, educator, and promoter. In what ways would you say these three interconnect and how have all three helped to connect your vision?

DT: Beautifully. It all happened completely organically and with little planning, originally. Once I began putting out music, people started approaching me about learning, so I put lessons together and started coaching one on one with a handful of aspiring artists. Throwing events happened in a similar fashion, where the right people and resources came together at the right time and allowed amazing experiences to be created. All of these things work together to build up my network of fellow movers and creators in the bass music world, which is what I think it’s all about. Now as a label co-owner, these projects overlap more than ever before in so many ways. Each aspect of work is a different tool at my disposal to help, grow, and contribute to the community around me.

CE: Slave is representative of our collective vision through shared struggles to exist within the confines of a society that fosters division while suppressing free thought and acceptance. What other sorts of constraints are you aiming to break to reach equilibrium?

DT: There are so many things wrong with the world that we can do better to improve together. I don’t want to limit my vision with specifics but rather let it unfold naturally and pursue new doors that open before me as I’ve always done. I believe music brings people together and through that unity, we can create all sorts of change. I want to push that narrative of oneness.

CE: You’ve mentioned that building your own library of samples and presets of sounds you create is a technique that has helped save time in the writing phase (same goes for project files/mixer setups). Elaborate.

CE: You did a remix of Liquid Stranger’s “Fist of Fury.”  How did this connection align and are you into kung fu movies?

DT: You put me on the spot with this one hahaha. To be totally honest I’m far more inspired by great fighters like Bruce Lee and Jet Li than the movies themselves, but I understand they played an important role in those guys paths. Long story short, Martin and I used to have the same manager for a brief time and it kind of came about naturally through our overlapping paths. Full credit to my friends at High Chai Recordings for setting that up.

CE: Some of your strengths are in texture creation and melody/harmony. Please breakdown the creative process for these elements.

DT: I’m a pianist by roots, so understanding the relationship of melody and harmony comes naturally for me and I would say I have an ear for it as well. I’m really big into layering my sounds and have a tendency to let the melodies drive the track and just put really fat sounds to them.

Honestly, I hear music playing in my head most of the time so it’s usually just a matter of channeling that constant flow and tapping into the vibe it creates, if that makes sense. I usually start with a melody I hear in my head and let the track naturally build itself around that.

CE: What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as a music producer?

DT: Write your music for yourself.

CE: Who is your favorite producer right now?

DT: Bassnectar, because of his immersive live experience and the purposes and intentions he places behind his music and everything he does. Also, because he continues to reach out to and lift up underdog producers such as myself.

CE: If you could see one change in the music industry, what would it be and why? What steps are you willing to take to see shift happen?

DT: I would love to see a new platform for industry networking, collaboration, and content sharing open up to make relationships in the music world easier to build and maintain without the clutter of all other social media. I would happily work towards creating and running such a platform.

CE: Biggest challenge as a producer?

DT: Currently, taking the correct opportunities and not over-stretching myself across too many projects and commitments. There are all kinds of people doing things out there and it’s easy to say yes to anything good that comes your way. It can be hard to stay on top of it all especially with no agency currently representing me.

CE: What activities do you tap into that help to bring balance?

DT: Definitely changing up the environment and spending time outside is a must. My favorite thing to do is traveling and I find my inspiration from new sights, sounds, cultures, etc. Taking small breaks is another must. You have to let your ears rest so your mind can quiet to hear the creative ideas it wants to. Also, I can’t stress this enough – take care of your body and your health. I’ve made a few big changes in that area this year and it has increased my stamina, mood, energy, focus, and more. Just to name a few.

CE: “The Art of Flow” featuring Slander is a resource you’ve gained value from. What did you learn from it?

DT: There are very wise words contained in this resource that everyone should check out. It certainly reinforced my understanding of fear and how it affects your life and decisions. It reminds us to not allow fear of perception or rejection control the creative process. Like I said before, make music for yourself.

The Art of Flow | Slander ( Part 1 )

The Art of Flow | Slander ( Part 2 )