During these crazy times, it’s comforting to know that people like Salman Jaberi, founder of new multimedia platform Rave Scout Cookies, are out there fighting the good fight.
Rave Scout Cookies represents everything we’re about here at WKDU: devotion to the community, quality underground taste, and uplifting underrepresented marginalized folx who enable and create amazing art.
We caught up with Salman to get the scoop on some of their most memorable rave deeds, how to create safe & inclusive events, and why dancing in itself is a political act.
Be sure to check out this bangin’ mix from New York duo Fatherhood as well!
1) What makes a good Rave Scout? What is a good rave deed? Have you been the recipient of any memorable rave deeds / what were they?
There are layers of what can make a great Rave Scout great; we’re all human, and let’s be real; we don’t always carry the best of qualities throughout our daily ventures. But I would say, to me, an excellent withstanding Rave Scout is alert, compassionate, socially, environmentally, and internally conscious, to hold the duty of being an avid protector and supporter of inclusivity and marginalized folk; and lastly, to romp and rage.
2) How were you involved in electronic music prior to founding Rave Scout Cookies? Was there an event or events in particular which led you to founding the platform?
I’ve recently been doing lots of press for the launch, this question comes up with every publication, so I apologize to any listeners who have heard this mary-go-round story before. I actually accidentally fell into the lap of electronic dance music and scene when I was 16 while I was in London for college. I accidentally crossed paths with a flock of goth ravers after locking myself out of the apartment one morning, and I fell into a 4-day time warp hole attending various hard techno ravers and afters in East London. My professional involvement, however, came to light and action when I moved to the US back in 2015. I came to meet artists Manu Miran and Gabriel Peleaz and officially joined the team of the first event-based platform, Visceral, dedicated to creating a safe space for marginalized members of the local community and hosting artists alike in the Boston area. That was definitely a significant source of inspiration to formulating Rave Scout Cookies, in addition to diving deep into the queer underground scene here in the United States, but my platform is generally weaved from the strings of raves, venues, music, locations, and memories I’ve collected over the 11 years I’ve raved and raged.
3) “Keep politics out of dance music.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement and why?
I really love that you ask me this as the first handbook I’m coming to publish and distribute the end of April comprehensively taps into this topic. There is no question that politics and the dancefloor go hand-in-hand, and it always has. Mainstream EDM, especially, I believe have no knowledge of the true pioneers of EDM, and the communities that came to establish the music they rave on to today; People of Color and LGBTQ+ communities created the EDM and all genres associated. I could go on forever on this topic, but I will leave it at this, before buying your Coachella or Burning Man tickets this year, give one of Luis Manuel Garcia’s or Redbull Academy articles a good read—
4) How can local promoters due their best to ensure that their parties are inclusive & safe?
There is a countless number of methods/modules party promoters and venues can implement to their functions to create an inclusive and safe space for the attendees, from the promotion of drug harm reduction, accurately assuring the sites and warehouses aren’t hazardous or dangerous to party in, etc. Most importantly, the two most vital steps of action party and promoters can take is to promote “Safer Spaces” by informing pointers to attendees’ over violence, non-consensual acts, racism, LGBTQ+ phobia, and sexism. Second is to always have a private medical professional on-site to ensure the safety of everyone; I realize that not every party promoter can afford this, but to even have an ally or a well-informed community member on the subject matter will make an impactful difference. I definitely want to give a big shout to the two venues in NYC who invest so much of their energy and time into creating a safe space for their guests, Nowadays and Basement NY; all your hard work is embedded in every regular attendee’s hearts and minds, thank you.
5) What do some of your favorite deejays have in common? What goes into a great deejay set?
Every DJ has their niche,’ and as an avid music lover, I appreciate all kinds of approaches artists take on producing their sets and music, but the sort of music that does my soul good and inspires me is when artists direct thought and add sentimental meaning and create a journey with their production. When you feel your emotions come to intersect with the performing DJ on the dancefloor is one of the most pleasurable and beautiful feelings one can endure.
6) If you could have been at one electronic music event from the past, what would it be and why?
My mind is racing with so many raves I know of that I would have loved to have been there for—- I’ll keep it simple and stick with the iconic venues and pin it down to NYC’s The Gallery Disco, which was established right before infamous clubs like Studio54 and Detroit’s L’Esprit, a former Greek restaurant turned to an elegant disco where whites and blacks lovingly mingled together at a time of segregation. Both clubs were established during the prime of the free-love, sex-positive, hedonistic movement during the ’70s….. it is everything I am about.
7) What’s your favorite post-rave / recovery food?
Justin Cudmore’s Aunt Jemima Pancakes and do vitamin count? I have 12 variations of supplements I take daily regardless of the rave.
Salman Jaberi Biography and Information
● Resident Advisor Biography: https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/salmanjaberi/biography
● Instagram: @itsillegal
● Personal Website: www.salmanjaberi.com
Rave Scout Cookies Information
Rave Scout Cookies is a multimedia, underground electronic-music platform devoted to bolstering a diverse roster of underrepresented and undiscovered marginalized artists, collectives, talents and ravers.
● Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ravescout/
● Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ravescoutcookies/
● Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ravescoutcookies
● Website: www.ravescout.club