Local music: New releases from Alive Bands to Watch

From the July 5, 2012 edition

Four alumni of Alive’s annual Bands to Watch showcase have exciting new releases out this summer. Here’s a quick rundown.

Fly.Union, “Value Pack 7: Zenith” EP

The city’s foremost hip-hop collective has been on the rise for what seems like an eternity now (in truth it’s been about half a decade), but with their first release since last year’s “TGTC,” they really sound on the verge of breaking through — and not just because taste-making magazine Complex premiered “Zenith” on its website. Iyeball and Swifa are working miracles with these luxuriant beats, and Jerreau continues to be one of those rappers who make everything sound easy.

Download it for free at soundcloud.com/flyunion.

Way Yes, “Walkability” (expanded)

“Walkability” originally emerged in late 2010, but influential underground hub Lefse Records just re-released it with a generous set of remixes. Each of the five songs gets a reworking at the hands of Columbus guys (Rimar, Monster Rally, RUMTUM) or blog stars (First Person Shootr, Larry Gus). Though the buoyant original tracks outshine the gurgling, dreamy remixes, there’s fun to be had here for fans of adventurous sounds.

Saintseneca, tour tape

For the two-week tour that launches Friday at Kafe Kerouac and wraps up at the DIY music fest Big Whoop Columbus, melodious folkies Saintseneca have compiled a cassette featuring some splendid live tracks as well as some leftover recordings from the recording sessions from “Last.” For those of us who can’t get enough of Zac Little and company’s pretty poetry and harrowing harmonies, this thing is like manna.

Monster Rally,Beyond the Sea”

Although Monster Rally’s partnership with RUMTUM will yield an EP and a full-length before 2012 is out, Ted Feighan is finding time to crank out solo joints too. His follow-up to 2011 collage “Coral” is now available digitally and on vinyl through Gold Robot Records, and it shows a depth and richness never before heard from Monster Rally’s sample-heavy sound collage. Feighan is closer than ever to the hip-hop productions he originally envisioned for the project.