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Lost Souls - Conveyor Belt Pt.1 (2004) (youtube.com)
Lost Souls - Conveyor Belt

Hip hop has for the most part always been an honest form of expression, a way for an artist to have an outlet, to allow people to hear their point of view and feelings. The underground sound, particularly Australia has kept this close to heart, bar a few bumps in the road most artists stay true to themselves and allow their emotions to seep from their tracks. Lost Souls have done just this, a completely honest offering, Conveyor Belt not only is honest but it is very real. The issues discussed, the feelings, the beats everything about it is oozing emotion and honesty. Emcees Raven and Budsa keep their lyrics honest and display emotions through each word for the majority of the album.

Raven solo Conveyor Belt Part One also highlights the emotions displayed through his production. Slightly reminiscent of Paparazzi from Xzibit we hear heart stringed violins contrasting with the dirtiness of the drum loop, the production on the album from Raven has just as much input as the lyrics. Budsa brings it home over the same beat on Conveyor Belt Part Two. The two tracks on the same thing, splitting it up works well and rounds up the whole album. Produced entirely on computer there are stages where the drums may not have the kick nor the snares the snap that one gets from more advanced and expensive tools however Raven uses them nicely and through other means creates a dark soundscape for the basis of the album. There are only a few beats that I found to be a little to computer influenced, The Fire Within and Enchanted Poison just didnt hit home for me as much as the others. Obviously placing high importance on his music as well there are two instrumental tracks, Darkwing Shadows is just that, a very dark beat, I feel it could have been shorter though. A better length is Be back soon a horn fuelled creation that keeps your ears peeled.

As referred to earlier the majority of the album is an honest look at life and situations. Phonetic Blacksmith however is a straight out battle style track that still manages to incorporate a few view points on the fake artists within the scene over a dark bass laden beat from Raven. In similar form is 5 Gentlemen featuring Field Trip (Aeteacix, Thorts) and Autism to destroy mics on this Hungry Humans collaboration. Autisms voice is rougher than slicing open ya girls knees and making her give you head in a wading pool full of salt water. It is that raw and grimy, hype, angry type stuff, I love it. I stand by my comments that Aeteacix has one of the dopest original flows in hip hop and this is testament to it. Raven kills it with his flow, multiple syllable structured rhymes that simply roll of his tongue. Thorts brings his honesty to the track, those who have heard My thorts bleed know exactly what I mean, one of the most honest emcees I have heard. Budsa brings it all home and finishes it up strong.

Budsa gets his first of two solo tracks on The Red Nut Case which shows us just how much this emcee has progressed, from earlier tracks heard such as Toxic Drops and Formula appearances. Budsa has progressed to a level of flow and lyricism that is very nice indeed. Once again an honest look at his own life and future, pondering lifes questions Budsa brings it honest and tight. Just as honest is the view on the pop world in Idol Assassin. An insightful look into the commercialism of the music industry and its artists. Observing the paths that other artists take to fame and the sell outs along the way and when listened to closely it is a crazy break down of the degradation of these pop celebrities.

There has been a lot of talk about the story track John Doe amongst heads who have heard the album and with good reason. A crazy tale of a reformed drug addict, through his stages of addiction to his ultimate demise, John Doe is one hell of a track. A rough, street tale that combined with a recorder (or flutes?) fuelled emotional dark beat and cuts from Perplex that fit in perfectly the track is a highlight of the album. From this tale Lost Souls flip it on their interactions with women in Spun. Another insane story type track that is influenced by opinions and views of the opposite sex and the questions that us fellas want to know. Some hilarious lines in here combined with some sick Simpsons samples create a comical piece of work that leaves you thinking, I know one or a couple of girls like that.

As a first release Conveyor Belt is a great effort, lyrics wise if you like honesty and emotions it cannot be faulted. Hip hop is obviously Lost Souls passion and Raven, Budsa and Perplex put this across perfectly on the album. The emotion is a highlight of the album, thoughtful insightful lyrics that many people will relate to. For first round production efforts with a computer as the main resource Raven pulls it off well, and when the beat is not that strong the lyrics and artist presence bring the tracks back up to a high standard. An excellent release.