Alternative Garnet was G-Schmitt's 1988 album that they put out under legendary post-punk label Wechselbalg Syndicate. this album (their second, after Sin, Secret, & Desire) is a masterpiece. it has a much more goth oriented feel than Sin, Secret & Desire (which was included in the previously posted Struggle To Survive (a compilation of their first album, plus Modern Gypsies, as well as some other tracks) with better production, as well.

i'm actually not too wild about the first tracks. they're good, yes, but they don't compare to the later tracks. track three is where things start to get really good. gentle synths and acoustic guitars, as well as oddly placed saxophones fill this track, but the most important part about this track is the penetrating rhythm guitar during the verses. the only thing that can compare to this is the beautiful descending riff during the chorus. so fucking catchy.

my next favorite track is track five, "Es". the almost hip-hop-esque mechanical hand-claps first turned me off, but once Syoko begins to sing (with her lusciously sultry voice) everything comes into place. for the most part this track stays low-key, low and murmuring. however, the beautiful tinkling synths (that remind me of the となりのトトロ soundtrack, actually) give an odd feel to the song.

my next favorite track is "Cathedral Junky". a really catchy piece, very sexy sounding. the best part about this is the mindblowing ascending vocal build-up in the chorus. that's one of my favorite things about Syoko's voice; the way it builds to a climax and blooms like a rose. there is no other vocalist in the post-punk or goth scene that can compare to her.

1. Balsam (樹木礼讃)
2. Future Daze
3. Coda [II] (The Ark)
4. Isis (The Darkness)
5. Es
6. Le Paradis
7. Cathedral Junky
8. Obsession Obscure
9. Icaros Descending [II]



  1. YES!! Another classic! This is actually a remix of an album by G-Schmitt simply called "Garnet". Actual copies of "Alternative Garnet" are much rarer (and much more expensive) than the "Garnet" LP though. "Balsam" is probably my favorite G-Schmitt track overall - such an amazing bass riff at the beginning! I actually knew how to play the entire album on the bass before I managed to fuck up my wrists. Totally beautiful record.

  2. i believe you may be right. but how much of a remix album is it? because the original album simply doesn't seem to exist anywhere.

  3. *¬* http://www.snowrecords.co.jp/servlet/the-115834/Vinyl-Records,G-dsh-SCHMITT,WT008A/Detail

  4. I had rips of both before a computer meltdown, but the two versions are pretty different both in mixing, instrumentation and arrangement. I generally prefer "Alternative Garnet" to "Garnet", but both are good.

  5. @ anonymous: oh yeah, i knew it existed; i just couldn't find it to purchase (or download) anywhere.

    @ nattliga: if this is the better version then i don't mind.

    how is it different? is there a change in mood?

  6. We're talking heavy amounts of both maracas and childrens choir throughout the entire original version. There's some pretty startling and liberal use of orchestral hits too, and I do think they edited out the saxophone solo on "Icaros Descending".

    Nah, all joking aside it's not really a change in mood, but rather a change in "feel". If that makes any sense?

    For instance, the version of "Future Days" on "Garnet" has a rawer, more post-punk feel to it rather than feeling floating and ethereal as it does on "Alternative Garnet". Stuff like that, kinda hard to describe really ...wish I still had the rips so I could hook you up.

    I've been meaning to acquire actual physical copies of G-Schmitt records for a while, but have been putting it off in favor for more obscure shit (which, of course, many times turns out to be much inferior to G-Schmitt). After Yuki from Bardo Thodol, Syoko is definitely my favorite female vocalist - Japanese or otherwise!

  7. yeah, it would be hard to pass up obscure stuff over stuff that's, for the most part, readily available; who knows when you'd be able to get something like "The Castle" again?

    as far as my favorite female vocalists go, it's a tie between Sayoko of Zelda, Syoko, and Miharu Koshi.

  8. omg, dat LP! ...I'm way curious to listen to the original now

  9. Man, now I'm really curious to hear the original as well! I'm also searching for their first self-titled 8" flexi, but it seems hard to find.

    My favorite female singer is now and will always be Togawa Jun.

  10. Here is the original version of "Garnet", from The Vault blog-