Ian Macomber, American Mob and the Dartmouth
Ski Team drop fresh beats BY C.J. FEEHAN
NUTHIN’ BUT A SKI THANG
Kieffer Christianson (left) and
Ian Macomber (right), pair up for
high fives and lyrical genius on
American Mob’s first album.
sings chorus almost
as smoothly as he
What is it about the ice that brings out the best in rappers? Ice Cube,
Ice-T, Vanilla Ice. Now a newcomer to the stage, who writes rap lyrics
in the long van rides with his ski team, finds inspiration in racing on bul-
letproof surfaces. Meet Ian Macomber, a member of the Dartmouth Col-
lege alpine team, a math major in the class of 2013, and the mastermind
behind American Mob. At age 20, he’s already released two complete
albums on iTunes and recently hit 30,000 YouTube views.
Macomber is a primarily self-taught musician who took piano lessons
while growing up in Cambridge, Mass. He uses the computer program
Logic Pro and a $280 microphone to record his work. While traveling to
races, he listens to his recorded instrumentals through his smartphone
and writes lyrics, anywhere from one line to 16 straight in a single session.
And he’s not alone. Several members of the Dartmouth Ski Team along
with other familiar NCAA and USST names show up in his credits.
Dartmouth skiers Evan Diamond and Annie Rendall have been featured
prominently in the music of American Mob while Heather Beatty and Mike
Day also contribute lyrically. Macomber acknowledges the support he re-
ceives from his teammates both on snow and in the studio. “My bread
and butter for the female voice is definitely Annie Rendall,” he says. “Evan
[Diamond] and Annie are both phenomenally talented, and they sing cho-
ruses almost as smoothly as they ski slalom.” Other Dartmouth athletes
such as Sam Tarling, the 2011 NCAA 10K freestyle champion, and Zach
Kuster have had smaller roles in currently unreleased singles, including
the ever-popular yet underground tune “In Vermont”.
American Mob’s two released albums — Stand and Salute (2009) and
Fresh Tracks, Vol. 1. (2011) — highlight both the thrills and trials of being
an Eastern ski racer. Most songs on the albums are remixes or sampled
sections of popular music, but Macomber puts his own unique twist on
every sound. His process is both formulaic and creative. “I’ll take 12 or
so seconds of a song, cut that section up, rearrange it, and then add new