The story behind Yelping Fraud
(Excerpt from the booklet of "Songs from his basket", 2008)
Yelping Fraud is a German band that was formed in the early 70s. Its members had played live together for approximately four years when military, civil service and vocational training put an end to their appointments to “rehearse” - as they often japed regarding their musical ambitions. Yet even when the band practically fell into paralysis because of the absence of their members, the creative hobby was saved. Manuel Munoz maintained his piano playing and invested in modern studio equipment to satisfy his needs. Reinhold Schumann did something similar and tried to preserve their songs by recording them with the occasional help of either Friedhold Fediuk or Gert Janenzky who took the part to play any instrument, sustaining the feeling of somehow still being creative in the original formation. This led to a diversity of places to do the taping, dependent on where the former members could meet. On the CD "Songs from his basket" no live recordings in the genuine formation are present. Yelping Fraud worked by consecutively recording one instrument after another on a four track tape recorder (overdubbing) but they never again performed altogether after their 'live phase'. Takes were made at home at Reinhold`s apartment, in students` flats, in a narrow attic at Gert`s and so on. They never saw a professional studio. But yet they worked studio-like.
Due to the original assignment regarding instruments, Reinhold mainly appears to play guitar on a number of tracks on "Songs from his basket" but due to the missing band members he was often coerced into playing other instruments. In the younger tracks of this album he basically neglects playing guitar as there was a more expressive way in using synthesizers to result in sounds like they should have been played a couple of years ago. "My music house" can be named here, where probably 8 overdubbed rhythm riffs played on both his Jupiter 4 and SH-2 can be found. Still there are two electric guitars on this record and only the simple part is played by Reinhold as he had succeeded in finding a gifted guitarist in Marburg to play the rest. His name was Uwe Schepansky, a fellow student who enjoyed doing “studio work” as well. Although this Marburg period was short, it marks an extremely creative time taking advantage of all the instruments and recording equipment he had accumulated in his music house. Other titles like Indianer, Para mi corazon, You stand by me and the Whopper song are also representative of this phase. On the latter, one single Simmons drum, again overdubbed in different tunings to match the sound of a full drum set can be heard. This drum was borrowed from Manuel and here we understand that the band still supported each other even though not being present personally. The more “modern times” on this album, actually the 90s, are reflected in both Mozambique and Dream#8 as instrumentals. In contrast to all the other handmade music featured on "Songs from his basket", they have been played on MIDI equipment, controlled by an Atari computer, mixed on a 36-channel console, yet still keep the charm of being taped - on old-fashioned digital cassette in a harddisc recording age.
Appendix regarding "Songs from his basket"
This CD is a compilation of songs restored 2008 from analogue and digital material. It spans a history of almost 40 years of efforts to keep Yelping Fraud`s ideas and tunes alive. All songs developed by Yelping Fraud.
Originals taped on a 4-channel/4-track TEAC A2340-SX recorder with HighCom NR, using a Tandberg TD 20 A for mastering. The tracks "Mozambique" and "Dream #8" have been saved from digital audio tape mixed on a TASCAM DA-30 Mk II.
Recorded at various places at homes in Melsungen, Marburg, Göttingen and Kassel. Arrangements and production by Reinhold Schumann.