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Radical self-expression, extreme self-reliance, pronounced counterculture, thumping music and one-of-a-kind art installations—there’s a lot that makes Burning Man special.

But for those who can’t make the quest to Nevada’s Black Rock desert, Mayan Warrior offers a taste of the experience outside the playa.

Mayan Warrior, a collective of artists, craftsmen, photographers, designers, technologists and architects from Mexico City and Northern California, is behind one of Burning Man’s hottest art cars, a colossal custom truck that blends Mayan and Huichol art with modern technology. 2022 marks the collective's 10th anniversary, and the art car is on tour in the U.S. to celebrate.

On its most recent tour stop, Mayan Warrior held a doubleheader in New York, where the striking art car took over a sprawling warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard on June 24th and 25th. Promoter collective Stranger Than, who organized Mayan Warrior’s first-ever West Coast appearance, co-produced the show alongside New York's Teksupport.

Mayan Warrior talent typically consists of emerging Mexican acts and acclaimed names in underground house and techno. New York was treated to sets from Mandrake, Lovecraft, Perel, Jenia Tarsol, Dramian, Moscoman, Chaim Avital, Asaf Samuel, and Robin Scott.

But like all Mayan Warrior events, lineups or set times were not shared. Performers were acknowledged on social media only once the party was over. This deliberate decision is one of many that Mayan Warrior makes to bring together folks with a sincere passion for underground dance music. 

And at Mayan Warrior's New York takeover, there was plenty of underground dance music to revel in. From Lovecraft’s rousing live guitar to Moscoman’s expert transitions, each performer brought their distinct flair to the decks. But the common thread that tied the talent together was a delectable offering of mystic, melodic, and tribal house and techno. 

Peak tunes like Latour's menacing "People Are Still Having Sex" and Red Axes' bizarre banger "James Bond vs Godzilla" ignited the dancefloor. Slow jams like Timo Maas' brooding mix of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence" and C.Love's take on Desi song "Dholida Dhol Vagado" gave the crowd moments of respite. 

Of course, the centerpiece of the festivities was the iconic Mayan Warrior art car, a heavy-duty International 4400 truck that’s been broken apart and reconstructed with an elevated DJ booth, over 300 watts of sharp lasers and loudspeakers with a consistent sound pressure of 143 decibels. The truck’s cab is formed into the head of a supernatural Mayan being while the sides are adorned with glowing geometric art that pays tribute to ancient Mayan culture

William A. Nericcio, a San Diego State University English scholar with research on Mexican influences in American pop culture has a fitting description for the extraordinary art car.

"One part Moebius, one part Carlos Castaneda, one part low-rider, one part Vegas, one part Studio 54, this automobilic melange of sights, sounds, and hubcaps (and DJs!) is the ultimate example of Latin American syncretism - the tribal communal spirit of la gente, inflecting the experience of raves and reinvesting it with something unique," Nericcio told NBC News. "While the ghost of Henry Ford would not approve, the shades of García Márquez and Frida Kahlo will be getting down to the light-driven, sound-source experience that is the Mayan Warrior."

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But even words as eloquent as Nericcio’s cannot fully capture the awe of the Mayan Warrior experience. Instead, immerse yourself in a curated selection of photos from the Mayan Warrior’s 10th anniversary tour show in New York.

A close-up of the art car at Mayan Warrior New York, 2022

A close-up view of the Mayan Warrior art car in all its glory.

Lasers blanket the crowd at Mayan Warrior New York, 2022

A sea of thick lasers blanket the crowd.

Side view of the art cat at Mayan Warrior New York, 2022

Intertwining the past and the present: cultural art alongside high-tech lasers.

Bird's eye view of the art car at Mayan Warrior New York, 2022

Glowing art panels framing the Mayan Warrior art car from afar.

An attendee in ornate robes at Mayan Warrior New York, 2022

An attendee in embroidered robes against a striking section of the Mayan Warrior art car.

An attendee with glow paint on their body at Mayan Warrior New York, 2022

An attendee sporting glowing body art.

An artist paints on canvas at Mayan Warrior New York, 2022

An artist paints on canvas in a communal space outside of the dancefloor.

Sound-bath in an outdoor garden at Mayan Warrior New York, 2022

Attendees catch their breath in a community garden with cushioned seating and live sound baths.

Moscoman and Chaim Avital embrace at Mayan Warrior New York, 2022

Love extends from the dancefloor to the decks: Moscoman and Chaim Avital embrace between their sets.

Asaf Samuel performs at Mayan Warrior New York, 2022

A stunning view from the DJ booth atop the Mayan Warrior art car.

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